Subaru triumphs in BTCC battle with Honda

Motorsport
Subaru triumphs in BTCC battle with Honda

Subaru driver Colin Turkington took first blood in the second half of the British Touring Car Championship season, but only after a race-long battle with Honda‘s Gordon Shedden.

The 2014 and 2015 champions shared the front row as the championship resumed at Snetterton, Norfolk following its six-week mid-season break, and it was Shedden’s pole-sitting Halfords Yuasa Racing Civic Type R that led into the first corner.

Turkington’s Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT, like the leader running the soft option tyre mandatory for one race per meeting, attached itself to the back of the Civic and proceeded to press hard throughout the first half of the 12-lap distance.

Just as it was announced that the Subaru was being investigated for a false start, Turkington found a gap in the complex section of the long three-mile circuit, and forced his way through, thereafter pulling away to a 2.8-second gap at the end.

Behind Shedden, the Ford Focus of Matt Jackson, in the 300th BTCC race for its team Motorbase, secured the third podium spot. Jackson made a very fast start and then withstood sustained pressure from Adam Morgan’s Wix Racing Mercedes A-Class, showing a welcome return to form.

The race proved excellent overall for Subaru, the BMR team seeing all four of its Levorgs finish in the top ten for the first time, Jason Plato taking fifth, Warren Scott ninth and James Cole 10th.

Plato was able to force his way past the Toyota Avensis of Tom Ingram late in the race, after both were promoted a place when the MG GS of Ashley Sutton suffered a puncture. Sutton was one of four soft-tyred cars to be hit late in the race, his team-mare Josh Cook also suffering.

Perhaps the hardest-luck story, however, befell Hunter Abbott. Having secured by far his best qualifying position of his BTCC career on Saturday, his Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze was pitched back to 20th in the opening laps, Abbott then showing what might have been by setting the race’s fastest lap on his way to a 15th place finish.

With all the title contenders coming into the weekend all finishing down the order the title race has closed up, BMW‘s Sam Tordoff’s taking seventh to keep him in the points lead with 225, ahead of eighth-place finisher Matt Neal (161), Rob Collard (156 after finishing 16th out of the points), and Shedden, who enters the top five on 135 points equal with 11th place finisher Jack Goff.

Race two is due off the grid at 14.02 – a full report coming on The Car Expert. 

Gordon Shedden scored his firs podium in six races for Honda with second place. Photo: Lanyon/PSP Images

Gordon Shedden scored his first podium in six races for Honda with second place. Photo: Lanyon/PSP Images

Andrew Charman

Andrew is the News and Road Test Editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.

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