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Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

October 1st 2017

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signed off the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on a high, securing its 7th Independent win of the year and a trio of top seven finishes during an action-packed season finale on the Brands Hatch GP circuit (September 30/October 1).

A promising start in changeable weather conditions during Saturday's qualifying session sadly didn't live up to expectations. After topping the timing screens for the opening minutes, Mat Jackson dropped down the order as the track dried out and lap times improved. Scotsman Rory Butcher was the highest placed Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO Ford in P12 with team-mates Mat Jackson and Martin Depper in P15 and P27 respectively.

Sunday's opening race called for a gamble on tyre choice with Butcher selecting to run on wets whilst Jackson and Depper both opting to run on slicks. The opening laps looked to favour the Dunlop BluResponse wet tyre initially as the cars struggled with grip on the greasy track. However, the tables turned as the laps unfolded and the Sportsmaxx tyre came into favour and an epic charge through the field from Jackson saw the #3 Focus make its way up into P5 by the third tour of the circuit. Setting his sights on Austin's Toyota, the 36-year-old timed his move perfectly to steal in P4 on the next lap. Unfortunately the gap to the lead pack was too great for Jackson to close in on, and he crossed the line in P4.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

A slow start for Depper saw the #30 Focus struggle to make up places early on in the race, but the Midlands-based driver found his groove in the closing laps and battled his way through to take P21 at the flag. Running on the wet tyre, Butcher soon dropped off the pace against his competitors running on the the softer tyre and the 30 year-old did well to hold on to P24 in the #6 Focus.

An action-packed race two delivered plenty of drama for the Motorbase trio. Another masterclass performance from Jackson almost pulled off the fairy-tale ending as he moved past Sutton and Ingram to take P2. Closing in on Moffat as the pair duelled for the race lead, Jackson came under increasing pressure form the fast-charging Hondas and eventually had to concede two places to end the race in P4 – recording his 7th Independent win of the season.

A dramatic spin at Paddock Hill bend saw Depper exit the track at high speed on the opening lap. A great save by the eSpares-backed driver saved the #30 Focus from too much damage, but sadly relegated him to the back of the grid. He would eventually end the race in P27. Butcher had a move fruitful second outing managing to steer the #P6 Focus ST up three places to P21.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

With an outsider's mathematical chance of retaining the Independent Teams Title, the reverse grid draw saw Jackson slotted into P7 for the final race of the day. Seventeen points behind leaders Speedworks, the Motorbase-run squad needed to rely on a DNF from Ingram to stand a chance of the taking back the lead. A storming start off the line propelled the #3 Focus up to P4 on the opening lap before taking third from Indy challenger Ingram on lap 2. With the promise of a strong podium finish on the cards, Jackson was abruptly pushed onto the wet grass by Ingram, causing the Ford to swerve back onto the track where he made contact with title contender Turkington, who was unfortunately forced to retire from the race. Jackson managed to claw back a 7th place position as the field crossed the line, but sadly any faint hope of a title chance faded as the flag dropped on the 2017 season.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent WinRunning on slicks for the season finale, Butcher and Depper bided their time in the early stages of the race before a heroic performance from the duo saw the #6 and #30 Focus STs carve their way up the order. Setting the fastest lap of the race, Depper's eventual P23 didn't tell the full story of his outstanding drive and the Midlands-based driver was unlucky to have finished outside the points, having run as high as P14 at the mid-way point. Butcher scored his fourth points finish in four race meetings, with a heroic drive on slicks that was rewarded with a P12 finish.

After a challenging year, Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO ended the 2017 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship in 6th place overall in the Teams Championship and 3rd in the Independent Teams' standings. Mat Jackson is the highest placed Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO driver, 8thplace in the Drivers' Championship and 3rd in the Independent Drivers' Trophy.

The 2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship gets underway with the official season launch on March 27th before the opening round of the year on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on April 7/8.

Team Manager Oly Collins: 
"Not a bad way to end the season. Mat managed to score some good results but was unlucky to have not to have got the win in race two. Martin and Rory were awesome in race three on the slick tyres. Fair play to them both, it was a really good call to take the risk and it so nearly paid off.

"Congratulations to this year's Champions. It's been an interesting year to say the least, but now our focus turns to 2018 with the aim of coming back stronger with a championship challenging campaign!"

Mat Jackson #3:
"We had a great opening race to come through from 15th to take P4 and it was a great start to the weekend. Race 2 was mega. We were out at the front for most of the race before getting muscled out of it which was frustrating, but the car had great pace. The tricky conditions I think played into our hands. It helped to evens out the playing field and throws the BOP out of the window. Race 3 was frustrating again, we had a strong start up to P3 from 7th but then we got drilled from behind. Unfortunately it leaves a bad taste in the mouth that contact was made which ultimately cost Colin [Turkington] the championship which isn't what any of us want to be involved in.

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

"It's been a difficult season. We certainly haven't has the best run regulation wise and that has hurt us this year. We've carried a handicap which was addressed half way through but it's been hard to overcome. We move on though, and there's a lot of work to go in during the winter. That's the plan, to go away, put in the work and come back stronger next year and win the championship.

Rory Butcher #6: 
"It was nice end to my 2017 BTCC journey and what an experience it's been. I had to get to grips with the car and the racing in such a short space of time and there's still a lot of learning to be done in terms of the racing but we've definitely got the speed. It was great to come through the field in the last race and gets some points in the bag for the team.

"I have to say a big thanks to the team. David, Oly and Alex from DUO and the guys at Shredded Wheat for the opportunity to join the grid and it's been nice to have been given the shot."

Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO signs off 2017 season with Independent Win

Martin Depper #30:
"It's not been the season that we hoped for and everyone at Team Shredded Wheat Racing with DUO deserves so much more. Its heads down now and fingers crossed for next year, and I'm sure that next season will of the chance to put all of the learnings from this year can come through. I have every confidence that with all the determination and passion in the team a Championship isn't that far away. Nobody deserves it more than Motorbase.

"Race 3 was a gamble on the slicks but we took the risk and it looked like it would pay off for a while there in the mid race and we had a good result in the bag, it was just shame that the rain returned and it bounced us back a bit."

Brands Hatch GP results at a glance: 
Qualifying: Mat Jackson: P15, Rory Butcher P12, Martin Depper P27
Round 28: Mat Jackson: P4, Rory Butcher P24, Martin Depper P21
Round 29: Mat Jackson: P4, Rory Butcher P21, Martin Depper P27
Round 30: Mat Jackson: P7, Rory Butcher P12, Martin Depper P23