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Rob
9th June 2012, 14:36
Honda duo 'not haunted'
Honda team-mates Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden insist that they are not haunted by their 2011 Oulton Park horror as they return to the Cheshire circuit for the latest round of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.

It's 12 months since a captive UK TV audience plus tens more thousands of trackside spectators watched in disbelief as Neal and Shedden took each other off the track while seemingly just seconds away from a comfortable 1-2 result.

Neal, who won the championship later in the year, admitted to causing the incident with a rash move for the lead at the final bend.

But a year on the Worcestershire racer told btcc.net: “It won’t be praying on my mind in any way. It’s history. If you let anything like that pray on your mind it would totally compromise your performance and I’m too old for that.

“Yep, it was my error but if we’re in the same situation this weekend I wouldn’t expect Gordon to think I’d let him win just so I could say ‘sorry’. I’ll be racing as hard as ever and I’d expect him to do exactly the same.”

Fife ace Shedden, very much the current ‘man on form’ with four wins from the last five races in his Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic, is in total agreement.

He added: “There’s no way we’re thinking about last year and of course it’s possible we could end up running 1-2 on track together at some point. It’s inevitable Matt and I are going to be on the same bit of the track a lot of the time – we’re not ‘mucking about’ drivers.”

Neal feels unfortunate not to have more than one win to his name so far this season and in fact believes he should have beaten Shedden to victory in the most recent race, at Thruxton six weeks ago.

He explained: “At Thruxton our cars ended up a little bit different and, whether by fortune or by misfortune, Gordon’s was different and that was beneficial for him over the course of the meeting. We learnt something as a team that weekend. I should have won that third race but when Frank (Wrathall’s Toyota) hit my car it knocked the steering out a lot.”

Meanwhile Shedden anticipates his winning streak could be over, particularly if race conditions at Oulton are dry on Sunday.

He said: “The rain is always a great leveller and the Civic handles fantastically well so that was OK at Thruxton. Had it been dry I think it might have been a different story…

“Also, with success ballast on both our cars which run to the heavier NGTC regulations as it is, we’re going to be about 130kgs heavier than the S2000-based cars. We also don’t quite have the turbo boost of some of the others and I think at Oulton, which unlike Thruxton is a stop-start circuit, it’s going to be a struggle.”

Rob
9th June 2012, 14:38
Plato sets early wet pace
Series leader Jason Plato headed a wet first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice session at Oulton Park but surprisingly ‘form man’ Gordon Shedden languished at the bottom of the timesheets…

Plato set the pace virtually throughout the 40-minute session in his KX Momentum Racing MG6. Mat Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus momentarily went fastest mid-session but Plato was back ahead less than a minute later with an unbeatable time of 1m37.448s, albeit some ten seconds off lap record pace.

Jackson’s 1m37.665s was just 0.217s adrift of Plato but only two other drivers were able to get within a second of the ultimate pace. Encouragingly for the MG squad, the first of those, in third, was Plato’s team-mate Andy Neate – at last enjoying a trouble-free start to a race weekend in 2012. He was just 0.005s ahead of reigning Champion Matt Neal in his Honda Yuasa Racing Team Civic, although the pair of them were some nine tenths of a second behind Plato.

“We learnt a lot when we ran the MG for the first time in the wet at Thruxton last time out and we’re moving that on here,” Plato told btcc.net. “My car was still very ‘snappy’ in that session so we still need to get the front talking to the rear a bit better. The circuit was fine, just wet all round with a bit of standing water but it was easy to drive around that.”

And added Neate: “Psychologically that’s done me the world of good. I had a few overshoots at the hairpin playing about with the brake bias but it’s a nice start. Compared to Jason’s car mine has some understeer so the ideal balance probably lies somewhere between the two different set-ups we’ve started off with.”

Andrew Jordan was close behind in fifth in his Pirtek Racing Civic. But next up were two drivers really finding some form, Nick Foster in his eBay Motors BMW and Adam Morgan in local team Speedworks’ Toyota Avensis. The top ten were completed by Foster’s team-mates Tom Onslow-Cole and Robert Collard and Dave Newsham in his ES Racing.com Vauxhall Vectra. Eleventh, making his BTCC debut this weekend, was single-seater convert Will Bratt in his Rob Austin Racing Audi A4.

Foster said: “To be honest I’ve probably been a bit below par in the first three rounds – my roll at Brands Hatch when I was actually going quite well knocked me back – so it’s nice to start over again after the break.”

And commented Morgan: “It’s just a case of gradually chipping away at the set-up in these conditions. My team-mate Tony (Hughes) has also set some decent times in that session and it’s encouraging for everyone in the team to see both cars going well.”

Elsewhere, having won four of the last five races, it was a surprise to see Shedden lapping slowest of all but he and his Honda team insisted his time – some seven-plus seconds behind Plato – was all down to experimenting with tyres.

For full times, sector analysis and speed trap figures click on this link http:/http://www.tsl-timing.com/toca/2012/122303trg.pdf

Julie B
9th June 2012, 16:20
Practice 2

Jason Plato again set the pace, this time in a dry second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice session at Oulton Park which was cut short when Ollie Jackson crashed.

Points leader Plato, his KX Momentum Racing MG6 carrying the maximum 45kgs of success ballast, set a scintillating time of 1m27.426s – inside Gordon Shedden’s race lap record and only a few tenths shy of his own qualifying record around Oulton’s Island circuit.

Next up were three Honda Civics headed by Matt Neal’s Yuasa Racing Team example, the reigning Champion just 0.014s slower than Plato with a time of 1m27.440s. Pirtek Racing’s Andrew Jordan was third ahead of Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden in fourth. Fifth, the last man to get within a second of Plato, was Robert Collard in his eBay Motors BMW.

This, though, might not have been the order had the session run its full course. Most drivers were on track looking for an improvement when the session was ended early after Jackson shunted his AmD Tuning.com VW Golf at the Cascades corner and damaged the safety barriers.

"I probably hit them about 50mph," he told btcc.net. "The front brakes failed so I pushed harder on the pedal, that locked the rears and I was off. The damage is surprisingly light but the big worry is not knowing what caused the failure in the first place."

Bizarrely, he was the second Jackson to come a cropper at the same bend after Mat Jackson damaged his Redstone Racing Ford Focus with an off there early in the session, this causing a brief red flag stoppage while his car was recovered. "My fault, I just lost the back on cold rear tyres," explained the driver. But with no dry running going into this afternoon’s qualifying session, the incident will be a bitter set-back for title contender Jackson who will celebrate his 31st birthday tomorrow…

MG’s Andy Neate, Speedworks Toyota driver Adam Morgan, Pirtek’s Jeff Smith and Redstone’s Aron Smith filled sixth to ninth positions. Completing the top ten was Frank Wrathall in his Dynojet Toyota Avensis. Ollie Jackson’s best lap time prior to his crash left him 11th overall ahead of BTCC debutant Will Bratt, 12th in his Rob Austin Racing Audi A4.

Neate also had to rely on a time set before damaging his car. He said: "We're still trying to figure out what happened. I was on the brakes as normal for the hairpin but the car simply turned left and into the barriers. It's damaged the front, side and rear and has left the team with a bit of a job on to fix it in time for qualifying."

Meanwhile the early end to the session prevented a number of established front-running names from ever getting into their stride, among them ES Racing.com’s Dave Newsham in 14th and eBay Motors’ Tom Onslow-Cole in 18th.

Julie B
9th June 2012, 16:24
Qualifying

MG driver Jason Plato qualified on pole for Sunday's first British Touring Car race at Oulton Park after a hard-fought session.

With the track drying but rain threatening, there was a flurry of activity early on. WSR BMW drivers Tom Onslow-Cole and Rob Collard, Gordan Sheddon (Honda), Andrew Jordan (Eurotech) and Plato all held pole at one time or another in the early stages.

Plato had a big moment at Cascades and reigning champion Matt Neal seemed to have secured pole for Honda when he set a time of 1m26.949s to open up a gap of half a second over the field.

Water on the track at Cascades caught out several drivers, but with just 30 seconds to go Plato's works MG snatched pole with a 1m26.872s.

"We put ourselves under a bit of pressure - I made a mistake on my first run at Lodge, then ran out of talent on the exit of Cascades," said Plato. "We had one more run so I'm really pleased with that."

Collard and Jordan also both put in strong final laps, but a couple of minor errors limited the BMW to third, while traffic held Jordan to fourth, less than 0.2s slower than Plato.

Shedden ended up fifth, just ahead of Onslow-Cole, while Frank Wrathall's Dynojet Toyota Avensis jumped up the timesheets late on to secure seventh.

Daniel Welch recorded his best BTCC qualifying with eighth in his Proton.

Like Wrathall, Dave Newsham (ES Vauxhall) seemed to struggle for much of the session, but finally moved up to ninth in the closing moments.

Motorbase managed to fix Mat Jackson's Ford Focus after its practice crash and he was immediately a top-six contender when he came out. But an air lock in the cooling system curtailed his running and left him 10th by the end of the session.

Former single-seater racer Will Bratt qualified 18th for his BTCC debut in Rob Austin Racing's Audi A4.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Jason Plato MG 1m26.872s
2. Matt Neal Honda 1m26.949s + 0.077s
3. Rob Collard WSR BMW 1m26.989s + 0.117s
4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 1m27.051s + 0.179s
5. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m27.457s + 0.585s
6. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 1m27.503s + 0.631s
7. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 1m27.659s + 0.787s
8. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 1m27.914s + 1.042s
9. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 1m27.969s + 1.097s
10. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 1m28.033s + 1.161s
11. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 1m28.093s + 1.221s
12. Andy Neate MG 1m28.125s + 1.253s
13. Nick Foster WSR BMW 1m28.155s + 1.283s
14. Lea Wood Central Vauxhall 1m28.178s + 1.306s
15. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 1m28.241s + 1.369s
16. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 1m28.357s + 1.485s
17. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda 1m28.521s + 1.649s
18. Will Bratt Austin Audi 1m28.850s + 1.978s
19. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 1m28.991s + 2.119s
20. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 1m29.572s + 2.700s
21. Chris James ES Vauxhall 1m29.657s + 2.785s
22. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota 1m31.689s + 4.817s

Greig
10th June 2012, 11:52
So seems ITV4 are only showing first 2 race live, then they go to tennis and want us to wait till 8pm to see race 3, good job you fools, why cant they put BTCC on ITV3 or something.

Sianellen
10th June 2012, 12:10
So seems ITV4 are only showing first 2 race live, then they go to tennis and want us to wait till 8pm to see race 3, good job you fools, why cant they put BTCC on ITV3 or something.

:-s thats rubbish, are they not putting the last race online to watch live?

Sianellen
10th June 2012, 12:30
Coverage will continue online on the ITV website after 4pm so should be able to see race 3 live on there.

http://www.itv.com/btcc/live/?v=sim5

There is a link it asks you to click at 4pm

Julie B
10th June 2012, 13:19
Plato out of the race already, before it's begun :-??

Greig
10th June 2012, 13:22
:lol

Rob
10th June 2012, 17:03
really good racing today :clap

Julie B
10th June 2012, 18:11
Race 1 -Results

Matt Neal has won today’s first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race at Oulton Park after Jason Plato, who’d qualified on pole position, failed to start.

It was Robert Collard, lining up third on the grid, who got the best start to lead the opening laps in his eBay Motors BMW. But Neal was quickly up to him and through under braking for Lodge Corner in his Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic (pictured).

From there he led all the way to the finish but in the closing stages came under pressure from Andrew Jordan’s Pirtek Racing Civic which had also found a way past Collard at the Island Bend hairpin.

Collard finished third and may well have been joined in fourth by team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole but he agonisingly span out of the race at Cascades, this incident causing a brief safety car period and also one of many retirements in a race of attrition…

Reigning Champion Neal commented: “I really thought Jason would be tough to live with today so I didn’t mind when I saw his car being wheeled off the grid! This isn’t a result I expected today so I’m really happy.”

Jordan added: “I gave it all I’d got but Matt was quick in the right places and there was little I could do. After a bad time at Thruxton last time out this is just what we needed, though.”

And said Collard: “I’m pleased with third but the NGTC cars like the Hondas with their slightly bigger brakes and tyres really become so strong after the first few laps. It’s still a very good result but we could do with a bit more overall race pace.”

Meanwhile it was Neal’s team-mate Gordon Shedden who took fourth ahead of Mat Jackson’s Redstone Racing Ford Focus – up from tenth on the grid – and, celebrating a career-best sixth, Daniel Welch in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona.

Andy Neate took advantage of a number of incidents ahead of him to take by far his best finish of the season to date, seventh in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. But for team-mate Plato the race was over before it had begun – expected by some to dominate from pole, instead his car was pushed off the grid before the start having suffered a component failure on the way to the grid. He rejoined later on for a few exploratory laps in his repaired car but will start the second race from 22nd and last on the grid.

Furthermore, Plato has lost his championship lead with Shedden now topping the table ahead of Neal...

An excellent eighth on his debut was Will Bratt in his Rob Austin Racing Audi A4. eBay’s Nick Foster was ninth ahead of Lea Wood’s BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra and Ollie Jackson’s AmD Tuning.com VW Golf which completed the top 11.

But there was chaos elsewhere. Foster was involved in two collisions which resulted in the retirements of Aron Smith (his Redstone Focus stopping with a punctured right rear tyre) and Adam Morgan who, on course for a best-ever eighth place result, span into the barriers exiting the hairpin on the final lap.

Redstone’s Liam Griffin also stopped when his car cut out exiting the hairpin, while Dave Newsham’s ES Racing.com Vectra and Jeff Smith’s Pirtek Honda both retired in the pit lane with brake failure and engine damage respectively, the latter having damaged his car’s motor in a wild ride over the grass exiting Cascades corner.

It was a grassy moment exiting Old Hall corner that also cost Frank Wrathall dear – having run as high as sixth early on, this caused his Dynojet Toyota Avensis to overheat and he needed to make a quick pit stop before rejoining and finishing 12th. Overheating caused the downfall of Tony Gilham’s Team HARD. Civic but the most notable retirement was that of Chris James.

Approaching the dauntingly fast Druids Bend on the final lap, his ES Racing.com Vectra suffered brake failure – perhaps the consequence of an earlier tangle with Tony Hughes’s Speedworks Toyota – and crashed heavily into the barriers. James was unhurt in the shunt. Hughes meanwhile was the last of the classified finishers in 13th after spinning in his scrape with James.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Matt Neal Honda 26m25.203s
2. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 0.242s
3. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 2.609s
4. Gordon Shedden Honda + 7.104s
5. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 9.341s
6. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 9.832s
7. Andy Neate MG + 12.556s
8. Will Bratt Austin Audi + 17.044s
9. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 18.054s
10. Lea Wood Central Vauxhall + 19.615s
11. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 28.242s
12. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 50.773s
13. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 59.738s

Retirements:

Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 16 laps
Chris James ES Vauxhall 16 laps
Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 14 laps
Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 14 laps
Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 9 laps
Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 7 laps
Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 7 laps
Tony Gilham Gilham Honda 5 laps
Jason Plato MG 5 laps

Julie B
10th June 2012, 18:12
Race 2 - Results

Gordon Shedden has won Oulton Park’s second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship race after early leaders Robert Collard and Mat Jackson controversially tangled.

Scotsman Shedden started from fourth on the grid but after he passed Andrew Jordan for third on the opening lap and Collard and Jackson then collided in front of him he was left with a clear road ahead.

Collard, in his eBay Motors BMW, made a terrific start from third on the grid to pass the Honda Civics of both Jordan and race one winner Matt Neal into the first corner.

In fact Neal was soon down to fifth, his Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic suffering from a loss of turbo boost and easy prey for Jackson’s Redline Racing Ford Focus, team-mate Shedden and Pirtek Racing’s Jordan.

Jackson then started attacking Collard for the lead and exiting the Island Bend hairpin shortly before mid-distance their cars collided. Collard briefly slid off the track with both then needing to make pit stops to have punctured tyres replaced. Jackson would later retire with engine problems and both he and Collard were later fuming with one another.

Shedden then controlled the small gap to the chasing Jordan for his fifth win of the season – a result that has enabled him to further increase his championship lead. Behind, Daniel Welch had looked on course for a maiden podium result, running third in his Welch Motorsport Proton Persona before Jason Plato, with a scintillating drive through the field from 22nd, squeezed past to grab the spot in his MG KX Momentum Racing MG6. Still, fourth was a best-ever result for Welch who’d finished sixth in the day’s first race.

Shedden, who also set a new race lap record, said: “I really didn’t expect that after qualifying and the first race but it’s all about getting yourself into the best position possible to capitalise when things kick off and it fell my way…”

And Jordan added: “Gordon getting past me on the first lap decided the race. I got trapped behind Matt (Neal) who slowed going up Clay Hill and Gordon went past us both. Had that not happened I feel I could have kept Gordon at bay as we seemed very evenly matched.”

Plato commented: “I really enjoyed that race – it’s always enjoyable overtaking people. More importantly it’s salvaged my day a bit after our problems in race one. It’s also a bit of a thanks to my team who had a big battle on their hands to get the car ready in time.”

Neal took fifth ahead of Collard’s team-mate Nick Foster and Lea Wood, equalling his previous career-best result of seventh – achieved 12 months ago at Oulton – in his BINZ Racing Vauxhall Vectra. Redstone’s Liam Griffin was a career-best eighth ahead of eBay’s Tom Onslow-Cole, who survived a spin to take ninth, and Dave Newsham in his ES Racing.com Vectra.

Elsewhere, Tony Hughes was a career best 12th in his Speedworks Toyota Avensis but there was retirement for team-mate Adam Morgan who span his car a long way off the track at Cascades corner. Chris James repaid his ES Racing mechanics with 13th after they had hastily patched up his Vectra after a bruising crash in race one.

Ollie Jackson and Frank Wrathall finished 15th and 17th after pit stops to have grass cleared from the radiators of their AmD Tuning.com VW Golf and Dynojet Toyota Avensis respectively. Splitting them in 16th after a pit stop to have a loose turbo pipe on his car repaired was Redstone’s Liam Griffin.

Plato’s team-mate Andy Neate retired a smoky MG early on but not before Will Bratt had crashed his Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 exiting Knickerbrook.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Gordon Shedden Honda 22m17.805s
2. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda + 1.229s
3. Jason Plato MG + 11.986s
4. Daniel Welch Welch Proton + 13.900s
5. Matt Neal Honda + 23.550s
6. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 26.178s
7. Lea Wood Central Vauxhall + 27.619s
8. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 29.643s
9. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW + 30.025s
10. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall + 41.830s
11. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda + 44.659s
12. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 45.987s
13. Chris James ES Vauxhall + 56.564s
14. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 1m27.330s
15. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen + 1m31.430s
16. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford + 1 lap
17. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 2 laps

Retirements:

Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 12 laps
Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 6 laps
Andy Neate MG 5 laps
Will Bratt Austin Audi 2 laps

Julie B
10th June 2012, 19:51
Race 3 - Results

Don't read any more if you haven't watched it on line :-D

Matt Neal scored his second British Touring Car victory of the day at Oulton Park in a dramatic finale.

The WSR BMW of Tom Onslow-Cole led from pole and was initially followed by team-mate Nick Foster, up from row two.

Fine first laps from reigning champion Neal (works Honda) and Jason Plato (works MG) got them up to third and fourth. Neal then forced his way by Foster at Island hairpin, with Plato following at the Knickerbrook chicane.

The two champions then closed on Onslow-Cole, but before they got there Liam Griffin crashed his Motorbase Ford Focus at Druids, bringing out the safety car.

After several laps the race restarted, only for Rob Collad's BMW to dive down the inside of Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Civic at Old Hall. Collard ran wide into Jordan, forcing the Honda onto the grass and into the barriers. The safety car came out again.

That set up a final six-lap dash to the flag. Onslow-Cole led away, but Neal lunged down the inside at Island hairpin. The BMW gave him room, lost the lead, and was also overtaken by Plato at the following chicane.

Plato looked set to challenge Neal, but a couple of minor errors - combined with an Onslow-Cole revival – meant he was never close enough to make a move. Neal therefore took his second win of the day, with Plato, Onslow-Cole and Gordon Shedden all crossing the line within a 1.1 seconds of the victor.

Lea Wood's Vauxhall Vectra held off a charging Collard to take fifth, while Mat Jackson – who had several clashes during the race, including removing Dan Welch's Proton on the run to Lodge – overtook Foster late on to take seventh.

Tifosi
11th June 2012, 23:23
Really enjoyed Oulton as usual. :-)

Only down side was an inpromptu close up of Louise Goodman in the pits which I wasn't expecting. :-s