BTCC 2017: Round Ten race report
Brands Hatch | September 30–October 1
Yuasa Racing duo Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal claimed podium finishes in an
exciting finish to the 2017 MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands
Hatch. While reigning champ Shedden wasn’t able to sneak into the top three of
the Drivers standings, Halfords Yuasa Racing did finish second among the Teams.
Neal qualified sixth on the 30-strong grid, while teammate Shedden finished 16th, but just 0.3 seconds further back. The defending title-holder – still in with a slim chance of retaining his hard-fought crown – produced a storming drive in the first race, recording the fastest lap to finish seventh. Neal struggled in tricky conditions and wound up three spots further back in tenth.
Both men went on the offensive in race two, working in tandem to fight their way to second for Shedden and third for Neal, thus securing Honda’s third double podium of the season.
“Race two was much better; the car felt fantastic, especially through the quick stuff, where it was really strong. I actually thought we had the legs to go for the win halfway through, but to finish on the podium was still a great result,” Neal said.
Wet conditions and hefty success ballast made the day’s third and final encounter more difficult, with Shedden ultimately flashing across the finish line in sixth, and Neal just behind in eighth.
The results from the final round mean that in the overall Drivers Championship, Shedden finished fourth, and Neal seventh. Halfords Yuasa Racing and Honda also won the Teams and Manufacturers awards for the weekend, snaring the second spot in the overall Teams Championship and third in the Manufacturers classification.
“We gave it our best shot, and although it wasn’t quite enough on this occasion, we’ll come back stronger next year,” a determined Shedden said.