HONDA YUASA RACING TAKES A CLEAN SWEEP OF TITLES
Honda Yuasa Racing Team star Gordon ‘Flash’ Shedden took his first Dunlop MSA British Touring Car title during an incredible day for the team at Brands Hatch last weekend.
Shedden, already eight times a winner during the 2012 season, came into the Brands event leading the drivers’ standings by 15 points.
In difficult wet conditions, and after qualifying seventh with the maximum 45kg of success ballast, Shedden scored a fifth, a second and a third in the three races on the Grand Prix circuit to secure the crown.
“There’s a lot that could have gone wrong today – I can’t believe it!” said the 33-year-old. “All I ever wanted as a kid was to race in the BTCC and I never thought I’d be champion.
“It’s the first year of the new Civic and the success is down to everyone in the full Honda family – it’s not just Dynamics and the race team.”
To add to Shedden’s joy, Honda Yuasa/Team Dynamics also clinched the teams’ title, finishing an impressive 131 points clear of their nearest rivals. Honda had already wrapped up the manufacturers’ championship at the previous round and extended the winning margin further.
With Andrew Jordan taking the Independent drivers’ crown, and his privateer Honda team Eurotech/Pirtek securing the Independent teams’ title, it means that the new NGTC Honda Civic has claimed every single one of the championships on offer in the BTCC in 2012.
Shedden’s Honda Yuasa Racing team-mate, reigning champion Matt Neal, also overcame a 16-point deficit to arch rival Jason Plato to finish second in the standings, 21 points behind Shedden.
Neal dominated the first race at Brands to take his fifth win of 2012, before helping Shedden in race two and finishing third. He then scored his third podium of the day by leading an impressive Honda formation two-three-four finish with ‘Flash’ and Jordan to round the season off on a high.
“Taking all the titles is the perfect result,” said Neal. “It’s the amount of people who have given up their time and have the passion at Team Dynamics and Honda that have made this happen. It makes a massive difference.”
Despite losing his crown, Neal was happy to see the championship go to his team-mate.
“He’s not just a good team-mate, he’s a good mate,” added Neal. “And he’s come of age. To see our names next to each other on the trophy is really something – it doesn’t get much closer than that!”
The Honda Yuasa Racing Team now has some time to celebrate its second consecutive title before testing resumes for next year’s campaign. The provisional first round of the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is at Brands on March 30-31.