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Gordon Shedden retakes BTCC title lead with race three victory

Sunday, July 30 2017

Gordon Shedden won the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Snetterton today (Sunday), retaking the championship lead following an early retirement for race one and two winner Ash Sutton.

When the lights went out, James Cole and Andrew Jordan made the best starts but a bold Shedden tried to take the lead around the outside at Wilson! At Palmer, Cole was mugged by both of his rivals, with Rob Collard slotting into third soon afterwards. Then Sutton's dream weekend soon turned into a nightmare as he was shuffled out of the race in a collision with Neal as the field concertinaed. Into Coram, Shedden was on Jordan's tail, but Collard was equally as threatening behind as Cole held station in fourth place, holding off Mat Jackson then Colin Turkington when the Ford ran off track.

Collard grabbed second on lap two, but Shedden soon re-passed the BMW as Jordan did his best to clear the pack. This put the two Team BMW cars together again and Turkington seemed as keen on demoting Collard as he was in race two.

Neal muscled past Cole onlap five at Wilson but the Subaru fought back into Palmer, bringing Jackson back into play. As Cole held up Neal into Agostini, the Ford passed, then the Honda crashed out on the run to Oggies as Tom Ingram and Jake Hill attacked from behind.

By the halfway stage, Shedden was the odd-one-out in the leading quartet, separating Jordan's BMW from the cars of Collard and Turkington. Further back, Jackson was struggling to catch the front-runners, and was still in sight of Cole, who now had his mirrors full of Hill, Ingram, Jack Goff, Senna Proctor, Tom Chilton, Aiden Moffat and Ant Whorton-Eales.

Ingram finally made the move that he'd been threatening on Hill in Wilson on lap ten, but the rest of the field seemed relatively well-behaved at this point. However, there was high drama on lap 11 when Jordan slowed with electrical problems and Shedden suddenly led the race. The top three were as tightly-bunched as ever with two laps to go, but it was the BMWs that squabbled, Turkington attacking Collard and aiding Shedden's cause.

So Shedden took the win and regained his championship lead, with the two BMWs on the podium again. Jackson headed Cole home for fourth place, followed by Ingram, Hill, Goff and the Vauxhalls of Proctor and Chilton.

"I didn't think I'd win after yesterday; qualifying was a shocker," said a delighted Shedden. "It hasn't been a good weekend up until now but points mean prizes!"

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Race three

1, Gordon Shedden, Halford Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic Type R, 12 Laps
2, Robert Collard, Team BMW, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.712s
3, Colin Turkington, Team BMW, BMW 125i M-Sport, +1.007s
4, Mat Jackson, Team Shredded Wheat with Duo, Ford Focus, +7.260s
5, James Cole, Adrian Flux Subaru Racing, Subaru Levorg, 7.743s
6, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +7.953s
7, Jake Hill, TAG Racing, Volkswagen CC, +10.260s
8, Jack Goff, Eurotech Racing, Honda Civic Type R, +10.559s
9, Senna Proctor, Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +11.424s
10, Tom Chilton, Power Maxed Racing, Vauxhall Astra, +11.763s

After the three Snetterton races, the championship table has closed dramatically, with just two points separating multiple champions Shedden and Turkington. Collard is almost as close, but Sutton has halved the gap to the leaders and will no doubt be a contender at the Brands Hatch finale in October.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship standings  after 18 of 30 rounds

1, Gordon Shedden, 221
2, Colin Turkington, 219
3, Robert Collard, 217
4, Ashley Sutton, 210
5, Tom Ingram, 164
6, Matt Neal, 157 

The BRDC British Formula 3 Championship returns to Snetterton on 26/27 August. Tickets are available in advance from £10, with free entry for under-13s. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click  here.