Amazing Weekend for Owen's Supported Teams/Drivers!
This is the highlights reel of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, our supported teams and drivers had a very busy weekend!
Jason Plato and Sam Tordoff shared the spoils in the opening two races as the MG KX Clubcard Fuel Save squad showed its hand at Donington Park, before Gordon Shedden scored the first ever win for the Honda Civic Tourer in a frenetic finale. Two-time champion Plato took a phenomenal pole position on Saturday, shaving more than six tenths of a second off the previous lap record, and he duly delivered in the opening race. Young gun Tordoff passed the eBay Motors BMW of Colin Turkington to move into second early on before setting about attacking Plato ahead. There were clearly no team orders in play at the Triple Eight-run outfit as Tordoff hassled and harried his experienced team-mate until the chequered flag. Reigning champion Andrew Jordan claimed third for Pirtek Racing.
It was a role reversal in race two with Tordoff jumping Plato as the 31-cars roared into Redgate corner for the first time. Whilst the front two remained in command of the contest there was complete bedlam behind as two separate incidents had the huge crowd holding its collective breath. BTCC legend Alain Menu, who has returned to the series in 2014 after 13 years away, endured a quite frightening moment on the opening lap. Minor contact with another car left the Swiss driver’s VW out of control at high speed and spinning wildly across the damp grass. The rollercoaster ride didn’t stop there, as his car speared back across the race track with a gaggle of cars approaching. Thankfully everyone was able to take immediate avoiding action and Menu’s car eventually came to rest in the gravel trap. The drama continued after a safety car period when American racer Robb Holland and young Brit James Cole heavily damaged their cars in another spectacular shunt. Both cars made contact on the approach to Craners in avoidance of another spinning car before simultaneously being fired into the barrier, bringing a premature end to their respective day’s racing. Back up at the front and Tordoff held on from Plato by just over a second, with Honda Yuasa Racing’s Shedden completing the podium.
Things would get even better for Scotsman Shedden when he won the final race of the weekend after a sensational last corner pass on Turkington. With tussling taking place throughout the order it had seemed as though Turkington was home and dry after scampering clear in the early stages. Shedden initially made steady progress from fourth on the grid, but after disposing of team-mate Matt Neal and Plato’s MG6 he began to reel in the BMW ahead of him at a phenomenal rate. As the duo began the final lap they were nose-to-tail with Turkington in full defensive mode. They went side-by-side on a number of occasions in the first half of the tour before doing so again on the approach to the final chicane. Both were seemingly late on the brakes and the two machines ran off the circuit, with Shedden returning to the tarmac first to cross the line ahead of the Ulsterman.
It was an extraordinary climax to a quite outstanding day of Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship racing at Donington Park. The fallout from the event sees Jordan and Plato joint at the top of the drivers’ standings with Shedden just a point further back. Turkington is four points off the championship summit, whilst Neal completes the early title picture.
The British Drift Championship's first round of the year at Lydden Hill went as well as anyone could have expected. Practice went mostly without incident (with the exception of Alan Greene who had a spectacular if not very destructive trip into the gravel) with the drivers looking forward to qualifying.
Qualifying went superbly for the Owens supported teams; in Super-Pro of the sixteen drivers who qualified nine of them were running Owens turbos, including first through to sixth! Steve 'Baggsy' Biagioni (Acorn Motorsport Division) qualified first just ahead of reigning Champion Mike Marshall (M&M Engineering), Matt Carter (Team Falken UK), Shane Lynch (Team Japspeed), Jack Shanahan (Aerokit Nexen) and Shane O'Sullivan (Team Japspeed) completing the Owen's domination of the top six, with Simon Perry (Lassa Tyres Drift Team), Wesley Keating (WKD Imports) and Danny Eyles (Team Japspeed) also qualifying in Super-Pro.
The first round of battles would see top qualifier Baggsy out with mechanical problems, a bitter disappointment. Wesley Keating and Shane Lynch would also be eliminated. This left six Owen's boosted cars in the top eight and a good chance of an all Owens top four! Shane O'Sullivan eliminated Matt Carter after Matt half-spun giving up the advantage, Simon Perry put out the returning Danny Eyles with a stronger chase run while Mike Marshall and Jack Shanahan made it an all Owens top four when they eliminated Brian Egan and Dan Chapman respectively.
This set up a David and Goliath contest between reigning BDC Champion Mike Marshall and up-and-coming talent Jack Shanahan for a place in the final. Amazingly enough, Jack won with style putting in flawless and agressive runs! In the other top four battle Shane O'Sullivan eliminated Simon Perry after Simon made some errors making it an all Irish final. In the third place decider Mike Marshall outdid Simon Perry who again made some small errors.
In the final both O'Sullivan and Shanahan made mistakes on their chase runs leading to a One More Time decider. O'Sullivan ran slightly wide on his chase run; Shanahan made no errors and was awarded the win, his first professional victory!
FESTIVAL OF POWER
Meanwhile the Festival of Power was being held at Santa Pod, and Owen's boosted competitors continued the successful weekend. In ACU Super Street Bike Steve Venables set new British ET and speed records, running a 7.21 at 205mph and there's still more left in the bike! Another record fell in the FWD Drag Series with Richard Batty setting new European speed records, cutting the beam at 173.07mph. With some warmer weather we'll see his personal best tumble!