Brands Hatch: Two different yet totally absorbing races

October 11, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The unfortunate fact about October in the Northern Hemisphere is that the motor racing season is coming to a close. This past weekend marked the conclusion of the British Touring Car Championship and and Porsche Carrera Cup with two very different races.
 

In what was an inspired drive from 18th on the grid, Gordon Shedden took the BTCC title from Jason Plato. With it all to be decided in the final race of the championship, Plato drove away from the rest of the field from pole position and was never challenged during the third and final race. At the other end of the grid, starting from 18th, Shedden spent the entire race driving on the absolute limit over taking anything in his path. The ever pushing Plato ensured he made the task as difficult as possible by posting the fastest lap and securing the extra point it brings. Shedden meanwhile continued to drive so hard the brake discs were still glowing red in between the corners of the Brands Hatch GP circuit, let alone when they were being used.

Having made it to fifth and secured the championship by a few points, Shedden’s team mate at Honda Yuasa Racing, Matt Neal, gave up his track position to provide the Scotsman with a buffer of a few more points for the final few laps and with that the championship was assured.

Speaking after the race Gordon Shedden said: “What an incredible day, what an incredible race! That’s touring car racing at its absolute best. To win it from that far back, I can’t believe it. It seemed like an impossible task but the Civic Type R was absolutely on fire with no ballast, I was just so desperate to win – wow! I’m almost lost for words, but the emotion is unbelievable. Sometimes the best way to keep it on the track is to keep pushing!”

The Independents’ trophy was secured by 2014 BTCC Champion Colin Turkington for the fifth time.

In contrast the fight at the front of the final Porsche Carrera Cup race was the perfect example of what happens when three drivers have their car set up perfectly. For seventeen laps Tom Sharp, Dan Cammish and Dino Zamparelli drove the Brands Hatch GP circuit as if they were tied together. The race was effectively decided at Paddock Hill bend on the opening lap when Zamparelli was squeezed to the inside and dropped for a moment to fifth. Holding the tighter line for the first trip around the Druids Hairpin, Zamparelli was back up to third and with that move the top three places were set. The gaps between the three drivers varied slightly as the race unfolded, but no amount of probing by Cammish who had already secured the 2015 Championship could find away past Tom Sharp. Zamparelli set the fastest lap of the race with a 1:28.605 compared to Sharp’s 1:28.880 and Cammish’s 1:28.653

Winning the final race sealed the Rookie Championship in favour of Tom Sharpe. Ignas Gelzini won the Pro-AM1 category and John McCullagh Pro-AM2.


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