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Shedden retains Touring Car Championship lead after eventful weekend at Snetterton

PUBLISHED: 19:49 30 July 2017 | UPDATED: 19:49 30 July 2017

Ashley Sutton celebrates his victory in race one at Snetterton of the British Touring Car Championship. Picture: Nick Butcher

Ashley Sutton celebrates his victory in race one at Snetterton of the British Touring Car Championship. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2017

Gordon Shedden looked all at sea at Snetterton after a poor qualifying session on Saturday marooned his Honda Civic in 21st place.

Ashley Sutton on his way to victory on race one at Snetterton. Picture: Nick Butcher Ashley Sutton on his way to victory on race one at Snetterton. Picture: Nick Butcher

But he fought back to secure a lucky race three victory to maintain his hold on the British Touring Car Championship title chase.

“It worked out in the end but it looked unlikely after qualifying,” remarked a stunned Shedden when told he had still held a two point lead, despite a difficult day.

Race three looked to be heading Andrew Jordan’s way after the BMW racer had demoted James Cole’s Subaru Levorg but cruelly his car crawled to a halt on the penultimate lap with electrical problems.

This allowed Shedden to inherit victory, with championship rivals Rob Collard and Colin Turkington in his wheels tracks completing the podium in their BMWs.

Subaru Levorg GT driver Ashley Sutton celebrates his win in race one. Picture: Nick Butcher Subaru Levorg GT driver Ashley Sutton celebrates his win in race one. Picture: Nick Butcher

The opening two races had easily fell to Ashley Sutton who displayed speed, skill and stamina in his Subaru Levorg to provisionally lead the title chase before the third encounter.

Starting eighth he was looking for another decent haul of points.

However his excellent weekend unravelled when he became a victim of an opening lap melee at Oggies which ended his hopes of leaving Norfolk with the lead.

In the opening race Sutton took victory after Turkington had blasted away from the grid to lead but uncharacteristically the latter spun at the Bomb Hole on the fifth lap to fall back and finish in seventh place.

Team BMW driver Colin Turkington settled for second place in race two behind Ashley Sutton. Picture: Nick Butcher Team BMW driver Colin Turkington settled for second place in race two behind Ashley Sutton. Picture: Nick Butcher

This left pole man Jack Goff in the lead but as his tyres wilted Sutton pounced on the penultimate lap at Hamilton to steal victory, with series leader Shedden back in 13th place to see his lead slashed to just two points.

Sutton stormed to a second victory in commanding fashion having never been challenged with a hotly contested race in the Subaru’s wake.

Goff held second for much of the time but as the grip again left his Honda Civic the BMW pair of Collard and Turkington slipped by, with the latter then demoting Collard before the finish.

Shedden finished in seventh place after another gritty drive, slipped to third in the title chase behind Turkington but was just holding sway over Collard as the last race loomed with a final chance to salvage his series lead.

Rob Austin (Handy Motorsport) had to retire after seven laps in race one. 
Picture: Nick Butcher Rob Austin (Handy Motorsport) had to retire after seven laps in race one. Picture: Nick Butcher

Dan Zelos made up seven places in the second Renault Clio Cup race at Snetterton to equal his best result of fifth for the season after a difficult qualifying session had seen him start from 12th.

“It’s getting closer,” stated the Dereham racer on his goal of standing on the podium, having been sixth in the earlier event.

The local racer had made a stunning start to race one and unseated Jamie Dorlin for fifth on the third lap but WDE team mate Paul Rivett demoted him before the end while Mike Bushell eased to his sixth and seventh wins of the season.

Norwich’s Shawn Taylor was 14th in the opening race but was an early retiree in the second.

Josh Price lets his Subaru Levorg GT engineers get to work after retiring in race one after four laps. Picture: Nick Butcher Josh Price lets his Subaru Levorg GT engineers get to work after retiring in race one after four laps. Picture: Nick Butcher

An exciting opening Ginetta Junior race saw Daniel Harper take victory from Kiern Jewiss while Harry King, lead driver for the Shipdham’s Elite Motorsport, narrowly missed out on the podium.

Harper won again in race two after Harry Dyson was penalised for track infringements as King trailed in 13th with damage while a stunning last lap from Tom Wood saw him displace Tom Gamble and Jewiss to steal victory in the final race.

Oscar Piastri did his British F4 Championship title hopes no harm with a commanding victory in the opening race while series leader Jamie Caroline could only manage eighth.

A superb start saw Caroline take charge of race two but a mid-race safety car nullified his advantage and he had an anxious final few laps before he secured victory.

Action from race one at Snetterton. Picture: Nick Butcher Action from race one at Snetterton. Picture: Nick Butcher

Piastri repeated his opening race victory in the third encounter having been hounded throughout by Logan Sargeant, with Caroline back in seventh.

An excellent start saw Callum Pointon race to the head of the opening Ginetta GT4 event at the expense of Ben Green who was pushed back to third by Jack Mitchell. Pointon looked in control of race two until a slip allowed Declan Jones through to take his first win of the season while race three went to Suffolk’s Carl Boardley. In the opening Porsche Carrera race Charlie Eastwood was unchallenged by Dino Zamparelli who reversed the result in race two.

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