Sunday, 21 October 2012

BTCC 2012 Rounds 28-30 - Brands Hatch GP

The BTCC returned to wet Brands Hatch in Kent for the final weekend of the 2012 season

Race 1 

Williamson's Saturday impressed many
Matt Neal won the first race of the final weekend of the BTCC season at Brands Hatch, narrowing the gap between second placed driver, his arch-rival Jason Plato.

Tom Onslow-Cole started from pole in his WSR BMW and began the race well, A slow start from Andrew Jordan allowed Neal and Onslow-Cole's WSR teammate Rob Collard to leapfrog him into Paddock Hill Bend. Team HARD's Aaron Williamson, making his debut in the 2011 Honda Civic qualified impressively to start seventh.

Lap 2 saw Matt Neal take the lead from Onslow-Cole, a position that he would not be challenged for again. Ollie Jackson caused a safety car on lap 5 when he slid off and hit the wall in his AmD Tuning Volkswagen Golf.

Plato couldn't find the sweet spot in the wet
Once the race resumed, Matt Neal began to extend his lead whilst Plato passed Dave Newsham, after being passed by him and Aaron Smith earlier. Plato could not hold the position though.

Newsham had a good battle with Rob Collard , briefly passing him before Collard held on to secure sixth by just 0.019.

Andrew Jordan finished in second place to hold onto his independent
 championship lead with Shedden remaining top of the table in the overall championship with a 5th placed finish.

Race 2

Race 2 saw Honda Yuasa Racing's Gordon Sheddwen confirmed as champion.

Tom Onslow-Cole looked set for a strong weekend
Tom Onslow-Cole jumped the Hondas of Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan to take the lead at the start and again charge towards turn one in first place. Action ensued behind with Jason Plato hitting Shedden, who hit Rob Collard's BMW, spinning him into Will Bratt's Audi. the incident crowned Andrew Jordan as Independent Champion with his only rival, Collard, eliminated.

After a short safety car period, the race resumed on lap 6. There was more incident though with Dan Welch, Nick Foster and Andy Neate all coming together, Welch was out but Neate and Foster were able to continue.

Neate's MG teammate Jason Plato was also involved in a coming together. The Vauxhall Vectra of Dave Newsham race across the front of him, hitting the tyre wall.

Aaron Smith scored an impressive debut win
Aaron Smith passed Onslow-Cole for the lead before the the safety car was deployed for the Newsham crash. At the restart, Shedden was placed 4th behind teammate Matt Neal who subsequently moved aside to allow Shedden to secure the title. The Hondas moved up to second and third after Onslow-Cole went wide.

Shedden secured the title in race 2
Andy Neate's rough afternood continued when he ran wide on lap 12, rejoining the track in the path of Adam Morgan's Toyota Avensis. Series debutant Aaron Williamson, attempting to avoid the incident, ran into tom Onslow-Cole.

Aaron Smith and the works Hondas were unaffected by the drama to take the 3 podium places.

Race 3 

Mat Jackson was painfully unlucky in race 3
The weather, which had been dismal throughout the day stayed wet as darkness ascended over the circuit in time for the start of race 3. With all of the drivers titles wrapped up after race 2, race 3 was all about second place in the overall championship with Matt Neal and Jason Plato both vying for the runner up spot. Aaron Williamson and Adam Morgan were unable to make race 3 after the race 2 crash that involved the pair.

Mat Jackson led from pole after being drawn out in the revers grid lottery. Frank Wrathall started beside him in the Dynojet Toyota Avensis. Jason Plato continued to struggle in the wet whilst the Hondas of Neal, Shedden and Jordan were strong, fighting through to take three of the top five positions after passing Plato.

Wrathall closed out the year with a win
Jackson looked strong until a repeat of his bad luck at Silverstone led to his car completely shutting down whilst in the lead. Wrathall inherited first place and looked commanding in the wet.

Having no success ballast, whilst the 3 charging Hondas were all carrying weigh, meant that Wrathall was able to hold onto the lead and claim a rather dominant first win for himself and his family run Dynojet team.

Matt Neal took second place, meaning he was to complete a clean sweep for Honda Yuasa racing with the Team Dynamics run squad claiming first and second in the overall drivers' championship.

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