Tuesday, 2 April 2013

BTCC 2013 Week 1 Brands Hatch Indy

My Review of Week 1 of this years' British Touring Car Championship.

Qualifying

Saturday's Qualifying was disrupted by snow and crashes and it was only just after the Pit Lane opened that there was 2013's first red flag. Colin Turkington lost control of his eBay motors car and was left stranded on the racing line, several cars avoided the Northern-Irishman's car until an unsighted Jack Goff charged into the stationary car. Andrew Jordon set an unbeatable 48.387 as the conditions were becoming almost unraceable. Pole was secured for last season's Independent champion as the snow came on with 14 minutes remaining. Reigning champion Gordon Shedden could only manage a 48.483.
Qualifying results:

  1.  Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Honda) 48.387
  2.  Gordon Shedden (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.096
  3.  Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.184
  4.  Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.227
  5.  Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +0.339
  6.  Dave Newsham (Speedworks Motorsport) +0.440
  7.  Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +0.457
  8.  Jeff Smith (Pirtek Honda) +0.527
  9.  Nick Foster (eBay Motors) +0.814
  10.  Adam Morgan (Ciceley Racing) +0.816 

Race 1

An exciting start to a nerve-racking finish in Round 1 of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on the Indy Circuit at Brands Hatch. The opening lap was bad luck for reigning champion Gordon Shedden, as his Honda went for a spin; however he was able to keep it on track whilst Rob Austin took the race lead ahead of Jason Plato dropping pole sitter Andrew Jordan to third. Debutant James Cole beached his car and unlike Shedden was not able to get back on track. This incident brought out the safety car for 4 laps and the race distance had to be adjusted from 24 to 27 laps. Whilst Turkington was making places from the back of the grid. Dave Newsham had to retire during the Safety Car period. Racing resumed on Lap 7. On Lap 11, Matt Neal forced team mate Shedden onto the grass. Shedden overtook Neal but both cars had to pit at the same time to fix damage sustained earlier in the race. They both rejoined a lap down on the rest of the field. Warren Scott had a spin, whilst at the front,  Rob Austin was overtaken by a much faster Andrew Jordan on Lap 19 who was setting his sight on the lead. The pole sitter was catching Plato as he had reduced a 1.3 second lead to only 0.2 secs at the end of Lap 26. More drama was to unfold as on the final corner Jordan attempted to overtake Plato but this ended badly resulting in Jordan hitting Plato and them both going into the gravel trap and releasing Shedden to unlap himself but the both were able to get back on track for Plato to win and Jordan second.
Race 1 Results: (English unless stated)
  1. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) + 2.2 secs
  3. Rob Austin (WIX Racing) +6.1
  4. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +7.8
  5. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +8.2
  6. Frank Wrathall (DynoJet) +13.6
  7. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +16.9
  8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Motors) +18.9
  9. Aron Smith (ROI) (Airwaves Racing) +20.2
  10. Ollie Jackson (Speedworks Motorsport) +22.1
  11. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +23.1
  12. Will Bratt (WIX Racing) +23.5
  13. Jack Goff (RCIB Insurance Racing) +27.3
  14. Tom Onslow-Cole (Kraftwerk Racing) +27.999
  15. James Kaye (AmDTuning.com) +29.8
  16. Lea Wood (Houseman Racing) +31.3
  17. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +37.1
  18. David Nye (Welch Motorsport) +44.9
  19. Gordon Shedden (SCO) (Honda Yuasa Racing)  +45

Race 2

The grid for Race 2 was the result of Race 1 and was the first race of the season were Ballast is applied. Another daemon start for Rob Austin saw him move from 3rd to 2nd.  This time the first few were without incident, as Gordon Shedden was making places up the order. Circley Racing driver Adam Morgan went off track and found himself dropping places left, right and centre. Start of Lap 2, Frank Wrathall and Colin Turkington made contact sending the Northern-Irishman into the gravel trap. He was able to get back on track but was right at the back. Ollie Jackson lost control of his car, a lap later, and tried to save it but ended up hitting the wall and going into the pits to retire. Rob Collard of eBay Motors retired with technical problems. Gordon Shedden made a charge through the field and by Lap 10 he was up from 19th to 3rd. A tangle on Lap 10 between Rob Austin and Frank Wrathall resulted in Austin having to retire from the race. On Lap 20, David Nye made contact with a Seat went into the Gravel Trap. This accident brought out the safety car and wiped out Jason Plato's 4.5 second lead. Like Race 1 the race was extended to 27 Laps. The race was restarted on lap 26 with the order Plato, Jordan, Shedden, Smith and Wrathall. The last of those drivers went off at Druids putting out a yellow flag for the Final Lap. The race finished with Plato winning but a bad Sunday for Shedden got worst as his car failed a ride height test and was Disqualified from the race Results.
Race 2 Results:
  1. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +0.989secs
  3. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +4.958
  4. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) +5.073
  5. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +5.454
  6. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +5.874
  7. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +6.64
  8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing) +7.086
  9. Dave Newsham (SCO) (Speedworks Motorsport) +7.295
  10. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) +7.635
  11. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +10.36
  12. James Kaye (AmDTuning.com) +11.461
  13. James Cole (RCIB Insurance Racing) +12.776
  14. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +13.765
  15. Warren Scott (Team BMR Restart) +1 LAP

Race 3 Grid

The reverse Grid for Race 3 was drawn by Chris Evans, it left the top 10 looking like this: S for Soft Tyre

    1. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) S
                                                                              2. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing)
    3. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing)
                                                                              4. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) S
    5. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) S
                                                                              6. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) S
    7. Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) S
                                                                              8. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing)
    9. Dave Newsham (SCO) (Speedworks Motorsport) S
                                                                              10. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) S

Race 3

The Sun came out for Race 3 as there was good weather for the first time all weekend. However, the good weather did not change Colin Turkington's fortunes at the start as he was force wide and onto the gravel trap and he rejoined last. The Airwaves racing car of Aron Smith went off-track and went tumbling down the order. Lap 2 and Dave Newsham lost control and collected Rob Austin who went flying into the tyre barrier and for the 3rd race running the safety car was deployed. Lap 7 and Mat Jackson had a serious problem when the car slowed and he lost about 4 places. Matt Neal took the lead. Gordon Shedden had made up places from 25th to 9th. Another few fantastic manovers took him to 4th. On Lap 24 he made the save of the day, as in front Tordoff was right behind Adam Morgan for second place.  Later on the lap Tordoff attempted a pass on Morgan they touched but stayed on track and Shedden got the better of both of them and went into 2nd. Shedden was chasing leader and team mate Matt Neal right until the checkered flag as it was only 83 thousandths of a second that seperated them.
Race 3 Results:

  1. Matt Neal (Honda Yuasa Racing) 27 Laps
  2. Gordon Shedden (SCO) (Honda Yuasa Racing) +0.083secs
  3. Sam Tordoff (MG KX Momentum Racing) +1.216
  4. Adam Morgan (Circley Racing) +2.171
  5.  Jason Plato (MG KX Momentum Racing) +3.651
  6. Andrew Jordan (Pirtek Racing) +4.727
  7. Jeff Smith (Pirtek Racing) +6.026
  8. Frank Wrathall (DynoJet) +6.43
  9. Colin Turkington (NIR) (eBay Racing) +9.508
  10. Mat Jackson (Airwaves Racing) +10.133
  11. Aron Smith (ROI) (Airwaves Racing) +10.611
  12. Daniel Welch (Welch Motorsport) +10.994
  13. Nick Foster (eBay Racing) +19.15
  14. Will Bratt (WIX Racing) +25.176
  15. Lea Wood (Houseman Racing) +27.179
  16. Liam Griffin (Addison Lee Motorbase) +28.485
  17. Tom Onslow-Cole (Kraftwerk Racing) +29.483
  18. David Nye (Welch Motorsport) +30.192
  19. Joe Girling (M247 Racing) +46.37
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