Podium double for Pershore BTCC team

AMONG THE POINTS: Evesham’s Rob Austin secured useful British Touring Car Championship finishes for his Pershore-based team at Snetterton. Pictures: DARREN PRICE.

AMONG THE POINTS: Evesham’s Rob Austin secured useful British Touring Car Championship finishes for his Pershore-based team at Snetterton. Pictures: DARREN PRICE.

First published in Sport
Last updated

PERSHORE’S Honda Yuasa Racing team secured two podium finishes in the latest British Touring Car Championship round at Snetterton.

Worcestershire driver Matt Neal finished third in race one, while team-mate Gordon Shedden took third in the second contest.

But the pair were unable to repeat the feat in race three in their Honda Civic Tourers, finishing 11th and fifth respectively.

Scot Shedden is second in the standings, 23 points behind leader Colin Turkington, with Neal down in seventh.

Rob Austin, of Pershore rivals Rob Austin Racing, remains in the hunt for a top-10 finish after twice finishing in the points in Norfolk.

A dramatic weekend kicked off when holder Andrew Jordan had a high-speed accident in practice after his Honda Civic hit a barrier.

He missed qualifying and had to start the opening race from the back of the pack.

But the medical team re-assessed the Pirtek Racing driver at the end of race two and deemed him unfit to continue.

However, double champion Jason Plato had no such trouble, winning the first two races in his MG KX.

He led from start to finish in the opener, keeping Turkington’s eBay Motors BMW at bay, and his second win also came at the expense of the Northern Ireland driver.

Aron Smith took the Chrome Edition Restart Racing squad’s second win of the season in a dramatic reversed-grid finale.

Austin started the first race — the 100th in the BTCC for his team — from 13th on the 31-car grid and managed 11th place in his Audi A4.

Thirteenth in race two followed for more points but chances of scoring again in race three were dashed when his car’s power steering failed on the way to the starting grid, meaning he was unable to break into the top 15.

He heads to Knockhill, Scotland, on August 24 in 14th place on 71 points, 26 adrift of Adam Morgan in 10th.

“We’ve not quite had the raw pace at Snetterton so it was important to take what we could and I don’t believe we could have got any more from the car,” Austin said.

“Still, we’ve come away with some points at least and the gap to 10th is very do-able. We’re 26 off with two of our much stronger circuits to come in the next month or so. It’ll be hugely important that we make the most of those two events.”

Austin’s team-mate Hunter Abbott was unable to score at Snetterton with two 20th places and one 24th.

For more pictures from the meeting, see tomorrow's Worcester News.

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