Honda take a one-two in race two but BKR make BTCC history

Race two gets underway in front of a huge crowd (Photo by Marc Waller)

Race two gets underway in front of a huge crowd (Photo by Marc Waller)The second BTCC race of the season at Brands hatch saw the Halfrods Yuasa racing Hondas take a one-two result.

Shedden took his first win of the year from team mate Matt Neal as Tom Ingram’s race went from dream to nightmare.

Ingram has held the lead off the line but behind Rob Collard blasted his JCT600 with GardX BMW from sixth to second off the line. Collard immediately put pressure on Ingram but Ingram looked to be able to hold him off at first, even surviving contact into Paddock Hill bend but the duo collided again at Druids as Collard tried to out brake Ingram.

The resulting impact saw Collard spin off and drop to the tail of the field but Ingram initially appeared to survive unscathed but after a further lap in the lead, his car slowed as it started to fail from the damage it sustained in Collard’s assault.

Honda’s front running duo then took the lead and were never headed, however there was still excitement behind them.

Ingram leads early on but Collard was about to strike (Photo by Marc Waller)Goff and Sutton battle hard (Photo by Marc Waller)Dan Welch has his best result for three seasons (Photo by Marc Waller)Smith was the star of the race (Photo by Marc Waller)Aron Smith, driving for the BKR team, (who only entered the championship less than four weeks ago.) was already doing amazing things in his VW CC. He’d already taken a strong seventh in race one but now he moved up to fourth from his seventh place starting position. Third place was in the hands of Josh Cook and his MG6, who was finally ahead of his team mate for the first time in the weekend! Cook and Smith battled before Smith finally passed cook on lap six and pulled away to finish a stunning third. It’s the best result ever in the BTCC by a debut team.

Cook now fell into the clutches of Andrew Jordan in his Pirtek Focus who found his way past and allowed team mate Mat Jackson to follow through after already passing Cook’s team mate Sutton.

Worse was to come for MG when Cook slid wide at Graham Hill bend on some oil. Mat Jackson and Colin Turkington also ran wide.

This gave fifth to Jackson, who was less affected by the oil. Sutton took sixth ahead of Jack Goff in the IHG rewards Club BMW. Adam Morgan was eighth ahead of Rob Collard’s team mate Sam Tordoff who did well to take ninth from sixteenth on the grid. (It was again an impact from Collard that had sent Tordoff to sixteenth in the first place!)

Tordoff’s ninth place proved to be the perfect finish for the race three grid as it was drawn to take the reverse grid pole.

Jeff Smith managed to deliver on the promise of race one with a top ten finish although Jake Hill had held the position until a fuel feed issue caused his retirement.

Aidan Moffat continued his points scoring day with eleventh ahead of Dan Welch, who is enjoying his best results for several seasons, his race one point now added to by the points for twelfth.

Smith Sutton and Jordan battle (Photo by Marc Waller)Smith passes Cook to take a historic debut third place for BKR (Photo by Marc Waller)Honda are first and second on the podium but its Smith who has made history (Photo by Marc Waller)Jason Plato finally bought Subaru some joy with a thirteenth place finish, their first ever points although they were probably hoping for more. Former team mates Rob Austin and Hunter Abbott completed the points scorers for Handy Motorsport and Power Maxed Racing respectively.

Shedden was pleased to win in the second race of the season;

“It all got a bit congested early on, and I thought I was going to get collected at one point when Ingram and Collard came together. Fortunately, I managed to avoid it all and then made my best plan to escape. I think my car was actually slightly better with the ballast on-board, which wasn’t at all what we had expected, but it’s fantastic to come away with a one-two finish for myself and Matt with the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R.”

His team mate Neal was equally happy with the team taking podium finishes for the second race running;

“Two races and two podiums – it doesn’t get much better than that! I’m over the moon – dead chuffed with the day so far. The race got a bit sketchy at times; ‘Flash’ and I were settled in third and fourth when it all kicked off ahead of us between Ingram and Collard, and then there was oil down on the track at Graham Hill Bend later on. We both called into the pits almost simultaneously saying we had a puncture, but thankfully, that obviously turned out not to be the case.”

But the last word goes to Aron Smith, who, weeks before the start of the season looked to not even have a drive. Taking third place on the team’s debut was more than they could have hoped for;

“This one’s for the team. Hats off to the whole BKR crew  – they’ve been unbelievable. To think that three weeks ago we weren’t even racing here, to be back on the grid and back on the podium almost straight away is incredible.”

Full results are available from TSL timing By Marc Waller

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