View Full Version : BTCC 2012- Brands Hatch

31st March 2012, 15:09
Honda British Touring Car squad admits it is struggling at Brands Hatch opener
By Kevin Turner Saturday, March 31st 2012, 13:44 GMT

British Touring Car team boss Steve Neal says the works Honda squad is still fighting problems ahead of the new Civic's first qualifying at Brands Hatch this afternoon.

Reigning champion Matt Neal was second in the NGTC Civic in the second free practice session, behind the Eurotech example of Andrew Jordan, but there have been issues for the new car.

Neal Jr's team-mate Gordon Shedden has yet to record a proper flying lap thanks to a mysterious electronic problem.

Steve Neal said: "We're struggling with both cars at the moment. Electrical with Gordon and there are some strange handling characteristics with Matt's car.

"We're more worried about Gordon's car - we've changed everything."

Shedden missed qualifying at the Brands opener last season when a sliced tyre pitched him off and heavily damaged the car in free practice.

Neal Sr did concede the car looked competitive. "It's hard to say what everyone is doing, but Andrew is there or thereabouts," he added.


31st March 2012, 15:11
Newsham grabs shock pole
Dave Newsham and the tiny ES Racing.com team have taken a shock pole position in Dunlop MSA British Touring car Championship qualifying at Brands Hatch.

Newsham set a best lap early on of 48.483s in his Vauxhall Vectra and then waited to see if anyone could match his time.

While others got close it seemed nobody could complete a clean lap due to the amount of traffic on the tight Indy circuit and a sensational career-first pole was his. It means he will line up first on the starting grid for tomorrow's first race of the season.

“I can’t quite believe it,” said Inverness’s Newsham. “It shows our form in the Media Day test when we were fastest was no fluke but it’s still a bit of a surprise because we’ve had a few problems in the earlier practice sessions. I’m over the moon though!”

Reigning Champion Matt Neal was second fastest in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic ahead of Robert Collard in his eBay Motors BMW. Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Civic was fourth but the driver was fuming after a last lap bid for pole was wrecked when he was boxed in behind the slowing car of Newsham’s team-mate Chris James.

Collard’s team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole was fifth ahead of Jason Plato’s impressive MG KX Momentum Racing MG6.

31st March 2012, 15:16

Julie B
1st April 2012, 12:01
Race 1 - Results

Robert Collard has won a sensationally close first race of the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch.

eBay Motors BMW driver Collard took advantage of a tangle ahead of him involving Dave Newsham’s Es Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra and Jason Plato’s KX Momentum Racing MG6 to nip past into the lead. The incident, at Paddock Hill Bend, resulted in Newsham, who had started from a career-first pole position, crashing. Matt Neal, who was under attack for the lead from Newsham at the time, was also delayed although he continued in second in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic.

Collard then went on to cross the line ahead of Neal and his eBay Motors team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole who pipped Plato for third by just 36/1000ths of a second in a photo finish. Bennetts, whose WSR concern prepares the eBay BMWs, was in tears as his cars crossed the line.

“It means so much to us as an independent team – it’s our first race with a turbo engine in the car and it feels great. It’s the perfect start to our season,” said Hampshire’s Collard.

Neal added: “It’s a shame we couldn’t get the win but the BMWs were on fire. There was so much going on – I wish I could have been watching it trackside with the fans. But it’s a great start for our new Civic. It’s got some great points and there’s still more to come.”

Onslow-Cole commented: “I’d have loved to have made it a 1-2 finish for us but Matt defended really well and I probably needed to pull my finger out a bit more. It was close with Jason – he got ahead of me exiting the final bend but luckily the BMW had just enough punch to get me ahead by the line.”

Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden was fifth in a faltering Honda ahead of the Civic of Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan – his car bearing the scars of a first-lap tangle with Newsham.

Mat Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus ST fought back past Rob Austin’s Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 on the final lap to grab seventh. Nick Foster made it all three eBay Motors cars inside the top ten by finishing ninth ahead of Pirtek’s Jeff Smith.

The race was disrupted by two safety car periods – the first to recover the badly battered Speedworks Toyota Avensis of debutant Adam Morgan which had spun and crashed heavily at Paddock following first-corner contact with Smith’s car . The second was required to move both Newsham’s Vectra and Aron Smith’s crumpled Redstone Ford at Druids Hill Bend.

Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall, who’d started from eighth, retired his Toyota early on with a broken gearbox. There were spins for Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. Honda Civic and, gearing up for the first re-start behind the safety car, John Thorne’s Thorney Motorsport Vauxhall Insignia. Thorne would later crash out of the race at Paddock.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Rob Collard WSR BMW 26m15.638s
2. Matt Neal Dynamics Honda + 0.329s
3. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW + 1.114s
4. Jason Plato Triple 8 MG + 1.150s
5. Gordon Shedden Dynamics Honda + 3.872s
6. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 5.156s
7. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 7.339s
8. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 7.489s
9. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 7.581s
10. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda + 7.886s
11. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall + 8.186s
12. Andy Neate Triple 8 MG + 12.090s
13. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 12.112s
14. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 12.307s
15. Chris James ES Vauxhall + 15.499s
16. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 24.791s
17. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 27.661s
18. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda + 1 lap

Did not finish:

John Thorne Thorney Vauxhall 24 laps
Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 14 laps
Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 14 laps
Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1 lap
Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 0 laps

1st April 2012, 12:07
wow the season kicked off with a bang!!!! great stuff. Sorry Greig just seen your text, went to mum&dads and left phone here mate sorry :oops

Your right though, dirty Plato as usual :roll

1st April 2012, 13:13
That was out of order from Plato, felt for Newsham and the team there.

Julie B
1st April 2012, 14:16
Race 2 - Results

Reigning British Touring Car champion Matt Neal gave the new NGTC Honda Civic its first victory in the second race at Brands Hatch.

Polesitter and race one winner Rob Collard held the lead at the start in his WSR BMW and had a 1.3-second advantage at the end of the first lap, but was soon closed down.

Tom Onslow-Cole initially ran third in his WSR BMW, but he had jumped the start. Before he served his drivethrough penalty he was overtaken at Druids by Jason Plato's MG.

Once free, Plato joined Neal in pressuring Collard. At the end of lap five, Neal attacked at Clearways to take the lead, and Plato followed down the start/finish straight.

Nick Foster then rolled his WSR BMW and brought out the safety car.

At the restart the two champions fought hard for the lead. With the help of a little contact at Clearways, Plato took the lead at the end of lap 17, but Neal soon responded.

With some rubbing of his own, which slightly damaged the rear of Plato's car, he dived back past the MG6 at Clearways on the following lap.

Thereafter Plato, who had earlier set the race's fastest lap, gradually dropped back and was eventually caught by Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Civic. Jordan dived by Plato at Paddock with four laps to go and closed on Neal, but could not usurp the works machine.

Behind the top three, Mat Jackson's Motorbase Ford Focus held off Rob Austin's Audi for fourth, after Gordon Shedden's Honda retired to the pits.

Collard eventually came home sixth, just ahead of Jeff Smith's Eurotech Civic.

Ollie Jackson brought AmD Milltek's VW Golf home a fine eighth, helped by a penalty for Lea Wood's Vauxhall Vectra for not respecting the track limits.

Dave Newsham (ES Racing Vectra), who started near the back and had to pit early in the race, snatched ninth by passing Onslow-Cole and Dan Welch (Proton) on the final lap.

1st April 2012, 14:59
Great opening 2 races, loads of carnage in the support races too :-D

1st April 2012, 16:33
Well this has been a fantastic race weekend so far hehe :-D

1st April 2012, 17:14
The support races been crazy, great too watch. Last race was a good 1. What a weekend and what a season we are in for. Funny that Plato said rubbing is racing when its him doing it too someone else :roll

Julie B
1st April 2012, 17:23
Race 3 - Results

Jason Plato has won the third of today’s three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship races – giving MG a victory on its return to the series.

Plato’s MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 hunted down and eventually scraped past Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Honda Civic at Clearways Bend. He went on to record his 69th career victory and also the first for the Triple Eight Race Engineering-prepared MG6 which had gone into the weekend with effectively zero testing.

Jordan took second ahead of an elated Dave Newsham who achieved the first BTCC podium result of his career in third – also the first for the ES Racing.com team which prepares his Vauxhall Vectra.

The result means Plato leaves Brands Hatch tonight leading the championship standings. He said: “We weren’t expecting anything like this. It’s been a fantastic day. But I’m just a small part in a team of people without whose efforts… they have done days and days of non-stop work. The way they’ve brought this car on over the course of the weekend is phenomenal.”

After a troubled day Gordon Shedden was fourth after a spirited drive through the field in his Honda Yuasa Racing Honda Civic. Jordan’s team-mate Jeff Smith was a career equalling-best fifth ahead of Rob Austin’s Rob Austin Racing Audi A4. Robert Collard who’d led early on faded to seventh in his eBay Motors BMW while Shedden’s team-mate Matt Neal was eighth after running off the track at the opening bend.

An earlier attempt to run the race ended after just two laps when there was a multi-car pile-up at Druids Hill Bend – seven cars slithered straight on into the gravel after Mat Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus ST, running inside the top three at the time, laid fluid on the track.

1st April 2012, 17:28
Awesome start to the season, hopefully Sheddon has better luck next time :-D

1st April 2012, 17:30
Awesome start to the season, hopefully Sheddon has better luck next time :-D

he had great last race, shame for first 2. Hope they sorted the electrical problems he had. Going to be close 1 this year.