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Wuhan WTCR: BTCC convert Gordon Shedden takes first win in Wuhan

Gordon Shedden WRT Audi WTCR Wuhan 2018

Gordon Shedden resisted pressure from fellow Audi driver Frederic Vervisch to claim his first World Touring Car Cup victory in the final race at the Wuhan street circuit.

A day after scoring his first podium since switching to the WTCR world cup for 2018, three-time British Touring Car champion Shedden sealed pole position on Sunday morning and led every lap of the race on his way to a first win at world level.

That dominance masked how difficult Shedden's task was, though, as the WRT driver's RS3 LMS survived two hits from behind, while he also held off a spirited charge from Vervisch in the closing stages.

Shedden, whose car's steering rack was changed before the finale after an opening-lap incident in race two, was tapped sideways by Denis Dupont (Comtoyou Audi) at Turn 1 but kept his foot in and retained the lead from Esteban Guerrieri, who straight-lined the corner in his Munnich Motorsport Honda Civic.

The race was almost immediately neutralised when Aurelien Comte was pushed into the wall exiting the Turn 6 right-hander by Jean-Karl Vernay, with Comte's Peugeot 308TCR collected by an unsighted Rob Huff (Volkswagen Golf GTI).

Guerrieri was asked under the safety car to drop behind Dupont and Frederic Vervisch after skipping past the two Audis at the first corner, ceding position four laps before the lap-nine restart.

Shedden was therefore again pursued by Dupont when the race restarted, as the leading three Audis edged away from Guerrieri.

Dupont then clumsily punted the tyre stack at the right-left Turn 10 on lap 11 - tagging Shedden, who survived - which resulted in a second safety-car period being called.

Gordon Shedden WRT Audi WTCR Wuhan 2018

With the fast but less-experienced Dupont out of his way, Vervisch went with Shedden in the opening laps after the second restart as the top two stretched their legs.

Vervisch was never more than half a second behind the leader in the final laps, but was not able to find a way past Shedden - who credited his success to WRT for repairing his car in time for the finale.

After his pair of lairy moments in the first half of the race, Dupont faded away from the lead battle but came through to score his second podium in as many weekends.

Leading Honda contender Guerrieri drove a brilliant final part of the race to hold off Nathanael Berthon for fourth, despite his exhaust dragging along the ground throughout the second half of the race.

For a second race in a row Berthon found a way past Campos Racing Cupra driver Pepe Oriola, but a sixth-place finish was nevertheless enough to move Oriola up to fourth in the drivers' standings - the best of the non-Hyundais.

Ma Qing Hua had the most competitive race of his two-round deal with the Boutsen Ginion Honda outfit to finish seventh ahead of Kevin Ceccon, with race two winner Mehdi Bennani and YMR Hyundai driver Thed Bjork completing the points.

Saturday race winner Vernay was handed a drivethrough penalty for hitting Comte and finished 15th.

Result - 23 laps

PosDriverTeamCarGap
1Gordon SheddenWRTAudi40m35.882s
2Frederic VervischComtoyou RacingAudi0.558s
3Denis DupontComtoyou RacingAudi5.018s
4Esteban GuerrieriMunnich MotorsportHonda8.475s
5Nathanael BerthonComtoyou RacingAudi8.813s
6Pepe OriolaCampos RacingCupra9.827s
7Ma Qing HuaBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda11.047s
8Kevin CecconTeam MulsanneAlfa Romeo11.296s
9Mehdi BennaniSebastien Loeb RacingVolkswagen12.304s
10Thed BjorkYMRHyundai13.905s
11Aurelien PanisComtoyou RacingAudi14.627s
12Yann EhrlacherMunnich MotorsportHonda15.402s
13Gabriele TarquiniBRC Racing TeamHyundai15.928s
14Norbert MicheliszBRC Racing TeamHyundai21.125s
15Jean-Karl VernayWRTAudi24.642s
16Norbert NagyZengo MotorsportCupra29.783s
17Tom CoronelBoutsen Ginion RacingHonda5 Laps
-Yvan MullerYMRHyundaiRetirement
-Fabrizio GiovanardiTeam MulsanneAlfa RomeoRetirement
-Timo ScheiderMunnich MotorsportHondaRetirement
-Zsolt SzaboZengo MotorsportCupraRetirement
-Aurelien ComteDG Sport CompetitionPeugeotRetirement
-Rob HuffSebastien Loeb RacingVolkswagenRetirement
-Mat'o HomolaDG Sport CompetitionPeugeotRetirement
-John FilippiCampos RacingCupraNot started

Drivers' standings

PosDriverPoints
1Gabriele Tarquini241
2Thed Bjork234
3Yvan Muller234
4Pepe Oriola207
5Jean-Karl Vernay205
6Esteban Guerrieri199
7Norbert Michelisz195
8Frederic Vervisch192
9Yann Ehrlacher178
10Rob Huff162
11Aurelien Comte139
12Gordon Shedden122
13Mehdi Bennani121
14Nathanael Berthon71
15Denis Dupont69
16Benjamin Lessennes48
17Mat'o Homola38
18Daniel Nagy36
19James Thompson36
20Aurelien Panis28
21Kevin Ceccon24
22Tom Coronel24
23Fabrizio Giovanardi19
24Norbert Nagy18
25John Filippi14
26Petr Fulin13
27Rene Rast10
28Ma Qing Hua7
29Zsolt Szabo4


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