BTCC Brands Hatch

By
Updated: April 1, 2013

Jason Plato in the MG6 won round 1, with Andrew Jordan finishing 2nd in the Pirtek Honda Civic, and Rob Austin obtaining a respectable 3rd in his own Audi A4

Pirtek’s Andrew Jordan achieved pole in qualifying in his Honda Civic, with Gordon Sheddon getting 2nd for Honda Yuasa in their Honda Civic. 3rd place was taken up by Jason Plato’s MG6 for MG Racing.

Round 1 started witha a bang as Gordon Sheddon got his Civic almost completely sideways down the very steep Paddock Hill Bend. Matt Neal and Jason Plato bunched up a little to avoid Sheddon, and in doing so Neal received some light contact. Andrew Jordan kept his hard earned pole throughout the first lap, but before long Rob Austin inched his way past towards the end of the lap. Austin had started 7th, but he had softer tyres on his car. This turned out to be a class move and by the end of the first lap he was leading the race. Plato then took advantage of Austin’s move and decided to nab second, and before Jordan knew what hit him he was down to 3rd. The battle was soon put on hold as the safety car was deployed after James Cole spun, his Vauxhall getting stuck in the gravel trap.

Sheddon getting very sideways!

Sheddon getting very sideways!

Unfortunately for Matt Neal, the contact to his car was slightly worse than it appeared initially. Smoke was billowing out of the right rear wheel arch. The cause of this was a piece of bodywork causing friction against the tyre. This was drastically effecting the cars performance, and soon after a large traffic jam had formed behind him. After the safety car came back in the front 3 cars shot away, with Matt unable to keep up. A lap later and Neal’s own team mate Sheddon and the other MG of Sam Tordoff were passing either side off him. In a terrible error of judgement Neal moved across to the inside of the track to avoid the MG, and in turn pushed his own team mate onto the grass, obviously having not seen him. This caused the first round to be a disaster for the Honda Yuasa team, with both drivers coming into the pits on the next lap. Matt to have his bodywork straitened out and Gordon to have the grass removed from his car.

On lap 14 the soft tyres on Rob Austin’s Audi A4 were clearly past their best, and Jason Plato and Andrew Jordan easily got past. After several more laps of battling Jordan clearly wanted the win and on the last corner of the last lap he attempted a optimistic, if not impossible move. He saw the slightest gap up the inside of Plato and went for it. Unsurprisingly Jason didn’t expect this manoeuvre, and cut across the front of the Pirtek Honda. This sent both cars careering into the gravel trap in spectacular fashion. Both cars managed to scramble back onto the track, albeit with Plato’s MG crabbing to the side, presumably due to broken tracking.

Both cars maintained position and Jason Plato finished 1st, Andrew Jordan 2nd and Rob Austin 3rd

 

BTCC article

By Harry Wright

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Twitter-@hazzwright

email-hazz_wright@hotmail.co.uk

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