October Racing Roundup - Success Across All Disciplines!

26 October 2015





 BTCC – Brands Hatch

Honda Yuasa Racing’s Gordon Shedden has been crowned Champion of the Owen Developments boosted 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car after producing a sensational drive in the final race of a dramatic season.

It was a contest that saw title rival Jason Plato surge into a commanding lead after Matt Neal’s Honda slid wide at Paddock Hill Bend on the opening tour, which meant Shedden had to finish in at least sixth position to claim the championship trophy.

The odds seemed stacked against the Scotsman, who started the race down in a lowly 19th place, but the Honda Civic Type R driver went on a relentless attack that would prove fruitful after 18 laps of nerve-racking action played out in front of a record 42,000 crowd.

Three safety car periods curtailed Plato’s getaway in the early stages, and also gave Shedden the chance to close in on his next target. Plato’s Team BMR RCIB Insurance team-mate Alain Menu did everything he could to hold up Gordon’s charge as the pair touched on a number of occasions. A puncture for Menu’s VW unleashed the Fife-based racer, who then made move after startling move in what was undoubtedly one of the drives of his career.

He dismissed Sam Tordoff’s BMW with consummate ease to make it into the top ten, before carving his way by Andrew Jordan’s MG and Andy Priaulx’s BMW on lap ten.

Next up was Aron Smith’s VW with the Irishman looking to assist stablemate Plato. Shedden lined him up as the duo approached Clearways on lap 12 and when the VW ran slightly wide on the exit of the corner the Honda slipped down the inside. They ran side-by-side across the line with the roar from the crowd almost as deafening as the 30 flame-spitting BTCC machines performing in front of them. Shedden was through and now just needed one more place to clinch the most coveted prize in British motor sport.

That move came one tour later as Rob Collard’s BMW proved defenceless against Shedden’s ballast-free Honda, and he took another place in the shape of Adam Morgan’s WIX Racing Mercedes on the run up to Druids. An uncertain Shedden remained on the attack, however, and became embroiled in a further dispute for position with Jack Goff’s MG. Matt Neal eased his team-mate’s concern by slipping back to hand him fourth place and on the final lap Shedden eventually settled on his position.

Plato’s flawless display deserved victory as he crossed the line ahead of Mat Jackson’s Ford Focus and MG Triple Eight Racing’s Goff. While his 94th BTCC triumph extended his incredible victory record, it was unable to bring him his third title, but few could argue with Shedden’s performance in this race and throughout this unforgettable season.

The Honda Yuasa Racing crew lined the pitwall and the crowd rose to its feet as Shedden blasted across the line, seemingly in joyful tears, and the new 2015 BTCC champion was crowned.

Neal took fifth ahead of Morgan and Collard, Jordan, Smith and Priaulx completed the top ten order.

The day had begun with a dominant double for Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson as the Ford Focus proved the weapon of choice around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. The local team has enjoyed a stunning comeback to the BTCC having only entered at the midway stage of the season, as Jackson claimed four wins in the final two events.

Morgan took two third place finishes in the opening two bouts, while Team BMR RCIB Insurance’s Aron Smith and Speedworks’ Tom Ingram stood on the second step of the podium in races one and two respectively.

With the dust settling over another incredible tin-top season it was Shedden celebrating under the floodlights as he won the Drivers’ championship by just four points from Plato, with Neal beating Turkington to third in the standings. There was some joy for outgoing champion Turkington, however, as he claimed the Independent Drivers’ championship, whilst Team BMR RCIB Insurance took Teams’ and Independents’ Team honours.

There was double delight for Honda Yuasa Racing as it wrestled back the Manufacturers’ title from MG. Josh Cook’s first season in the BTCC with Power Maxed Racing proved a fantastic success as he won the Jack Sears Trophy for rookie drivers.

 BTRDA Forest Rally Championship/Welsh Forest Rally Championship – Cambrian Rally

It was a bittersweet class victory for Owen Developments sponsored crew of Luke Francis and John Roberts at the Cambrian Rally. At the previous round any chance of winning the Championship was exhausted, but they would want to end their season on a high with a victory.

In a field of cars containing no less than ten World Rally cars, after the first stage they sat second in their Group A Evo IX and would drop no lower than third in the event. Throughout the rally they traded second and third with Josh Moffett and John Rowan’s Ford Fiesta WRC many times but never dropping out of contention.

Going into the final stage of Great Orme, famous as a stage on Wales Rally GB, Luke and John put on a giant-slaying performance. Not only did they win the stage beating all the World Rally cars on the day and jump back to second overall, but they set a new fastest time for the stage beating Jari-Matti Latvala’s record. Not bad in a Group A car, but when it’s a Group A car with and engine built, mapped and boosted (Evo IX Group A) by Owen Developments you can begin to see why!

Luke and John would finish the event second overall, but first in class and ahead of all their Championship rivals securing third in the title race for this season.

 FIM Funny Bike – National Finals

The compound turbocharged Storm Drag Bike (ODGT3579HTA-M/ODGT4205HTA) was at Santa Pod for the National Finals and one of the last chances in the year to chase personal bests.

With a mixed bag of luck there always seems to be something which stops the team from running the bike to its full potential. This time however everything ran smoothly, thanks partly to the time the bike spend at Owen Developments having its electronics pored over by Mark keeping things smooth, fast and reliable. Friday saw Storm cut the beam in 7.05 at 192mph on the first pass, already a new personal best but there was more left in the bike as the next pass showed; 6.89 at 195mph, the first run in the 6’s!

The celebrations wouldn’t end there though, over the course of the weekend the times went down, and the speeds went up! A first 200mph+ run was achieved, a 6.89 at 203mph, followed by a later 200.5mph run confirming the Storm team as the fastest ACU Funny Bike ever!

The competition itself wasn’t as successful. Despite qualifying first, clutch issues were complicating matters and in the first round of eliminations rider Lorcan Parnell veered right and had to back off to avoid heavy contact with the wall. Having just clipped the wall at the famous Santa Pod gantry the team were disqualified. Even with that disappointment, with a new personal best ET and a record speed it was a strong way to end the season. We have high hopes for next year!

 Gymkhana Grid European Finals - Santa Pod

Luke Woodham (ODGT2868HTA) stormed to the Gymkhana Grid RWD Championship title during the finals at Santa Pod for the second year in succession. Having already qualified for the finals by winning earlier in the year he was favourite to win among a field of quality drivers from around the world including a host of BDC and IDC regulars, as well as Ryan Tuerck who had been brought over by Ken Block as a ringer in the RWD competition.

Luke’s smooth, consistent driving combined with the response of his turbo saw him through the opening rounds against BDC regular Dan Firmanger in his V8 Volvo, Marko Palijan in his AE86 and Danny Cross in his Nissan Silvia S14, but then he had to face the elephant in the room.

Inevitably in the final Luke found himself against Ryan Tuerck piloting Ken Block’s newly built Gymkhana prepared Ford Escort Mk. 2. Despite a valiant effort, Luke couldn’t overcome Tuerck in the Escort and had to settle for second on the day, even if that was good enough for the overall RWD Championship title.

Congratulations Luke!

 Drift Allstars – Polish GP Toru�?

Drift Allstars rolled into Toru�? for the final round of the Championship with Owen Developments sponsored driver James Deane (ODGT3788HTZ-M) poised to take the title for the second year running. His form this year has been unparalleled; he’s already won the Irish Drift Championship this year, snatching it from Jack Shanahan and Tomás Kiely at the final round and a second Drift Allstars title would be the icing on the cake.

As is his custom James qualified first despite taking his bumper off on a barrier and incurring a zero on one of his runs. This meant going into the battles regardless of what his closest Championship rival Janis Eglite did James would be Champion if he made it to the quarter finals. James made it to the top eight without any trouble, but Janis half-span in his top sixteen battle immediately losing the title in the process. Before a top eight battle had taken place James was Drift Allstars Champion again!

With the big prize in the bag James continued on through the battles to the final against Kuba Przygonski and his 1000hp GT86. An uncharacteristic error from James in his lead run saw Kuba take the advantage in his lead run, which set up one of the best chase runs of the entire season. James went all out to try to recover the advantage in his chase run with nothing to spare, leaving tyre marks on both of Kuba’s doors! Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and James would finish the season with a second place finish in Poland, keeping his 100% podium finish record in 2015.

Congratulations on your success James!

 BTRA – Pembrey

The British Truck Racing Association rumbles into Pembrey for the penultimate meeting of the 2015 season. Owen Developments sponsored driver Steven Powell (ODGT4205HTA) had a near perfect weekend in his Foden to extend his lead over his nearest rivals.

Steve took no less than five podium finishes, including two victories at the Welsh circuit leaving him with one hand very firmly on the Division Two Championship trophy. He was one of the drivers least affected by penalties being handed out for ‘Track Limits’ which were being handed out liberally, underlining his pace. Heading for the final round of the Championship at Brands Hatch he has a 33 point advantage over rival Luke Garrett, with just fifty points available.

 Queen of Europe Drift Series - Slovakiaring

Owen Developments sponsored Danielle Murphy (ODGT3073HTA-M) came very close to not even making it the final round at the Slovakiaring after an engine failure, but many late nights, a borrowed engine and a lot of hard work later she made it. Had the car not been ready in time Danielle would have had no chance of winning the Championship she was on the brink of going into the final round.

In the final reckoning, the last minute preparation for the event was more dramatic than the event itself, with Danielle taking the win and wrapping up her second Queen of Europe title! Congratulations from everyone at Owen Developments!



Related Tags:  sponsored racing events |  touring car racing | 
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