AGONY AND ECSTASY FOR BTCC DRIVERS
BTCC: Brands Hatch
Going into the final meeting of the season with the top 4 drivers all using Cobra seats meant that there was bound to be a mixture of euphoria and despair for ‘our’ drivers’, but you can rely on the BTCC to keep everyone guessing as to who would experience what until the chequered flag fell to mark the end of the very last race of the season.
Unfortunately the one exception was Matt Neal whose hopes of a record equalling fourth championship were extinguished when mild concussion (resulting from a heavy off in race two) ruled him out of the final race showdown.
Matt has been a pioneer and a massive supporter of Cobra Seats throughout our five year involvement with the BTCC – we know he will bounce back from his disappointment and be even more determined in 2017.
The first two races at Brands Hatch witnessed Sam Tordoff’s long standing lead in the BTCC Drivers Championship cut from eleven points to two ahead of a hard charging Gordon Shedden. As a result, all eyes on the third and final race were on the battle for third, fourth and fifth as Tordoff maintained a third (and potentially championship winning) position ahead of Cobra’s Josh Cook in his Triple Eight MG with ‘Flash’ in fifth.
On the fourth lap Shedden moved up to fourth and the battle for the title moved up a gear.
At the end of the seventh lap Shedden undercut Tordoff at the exit of Clark Curve, so as they crossed the start and finish line at the start of lap eight Shedden was leading the championship on countback ( points level, each drivers number of season victories coming into play).
Sam’s chances took a further knock back when he was relegated to fifth – but the BTCC has a knack of cranking up the drama, so a late safety car closed up the field leaving Shedden to defend third place (and his second consecutive championship) for a nail biting final lap.
As he crossed the finish line an understandably emotional Shedden was celebrating winning the 2016 BTCC championship by just two points.
It has been a dramatic season for ‘Flash’ whose title defence got off to an uncharacteristically slow start, meaning that he has been playing catch up…until the very last race of the season.
Congratulations to Gordon…and commiserations to Sam, Matt and Rob Collard who saw his brilliant challenge for the championship peter out with an uncharacteristic and disappointing series of races at the Kent circuit.
…and a huge thank you to all ‘our’ drivers, who have delivered a fantastic championship season.