Multiple title winners Gordon Shedden and Colin Turkington both scored landmark British Touring Car Championship victories at Donington Park – but the biggest winner of the weekend was Ash Sutton, who took another huge step towards retaining his crown.
Triple champion Shedden, who returned to the BTCC this season after a three-year break, qualified on pole and then took his first two victories of the year in his Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type R - although the second win came in somewhat controversial circumstances. The wins were the 49th and 50th of Shedden’s career.
Not to be outdone, Team BMW 330 i M Sport racer Turkington claimed his 60th career win in the reverse grid final race. But three solid finishes was enough for Laser Tool Racing Infiniti Q50 racer Sutton to build his title lead, and he is in prime position to clinch a third title in the Brands Hatch season finale.
Shedden storms to a double
Shedden’s return to the BTCC this year hasn’t gone entirely to plan, but it all came together for the Scotsman at Donington. Having broken the lap record in qualifying, he dominated the opening race, leading home Power Maxed Vauxhall Astra driver Dan Lloyd and Toyota Corolla man Rory Butcher.
But Shedden certainly didn’t have things all his own way in race two. While Shedden led early on, ExcelR8 Hyundai i20 Fastback N driver Tom Ingram - who was a ballast-laden 11th in the opener - charged through the order.
Ingram was soon up to second and grabbed the lead with a firm move at Coppice mid-race to lead the pack to the finish. But a post-race review determined that Ingram had tapped the Honda out of the way before making the pass, and he was given a time penalty that dropped him to second.
That gave Shedden the 50th victory of his BTCC career. Butcher took third again, with Sutton – seventh in the opener – finishing fourth.
Turkington turns things round
Ironically, a rare Turkington error in race two put him in prime position to win the finale. The Northern Irishman uncharacteristically spun out of contention in the second race, recovering to finish in 11th.
But he was then drawn on pole for the reverse grid final race, and he put in a faultless drive to collect his landmark 60th BTCC win. That ties Turkington with Andy Rouse for third on the all-time list, behind only Jason Plato (93 wins) and Matt Neal (63).
MB Motorsport Ford Focus ST driver Jake Hill kept up his title challenge with second place, with Aiden Moffat (Infiniti Q50) third.