This weekend, the score will be settled on the historic Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, bringing a close to a contentious season. Both drivers have their fair share of fans, and incidents between the two – with Shedden’s team-mate Matt Neal often getting involved – have polarised them this year.
Plato’s relentlessness in the brand-new MG has been something to behold, while Shedden’s smooth style in the Honda has been stymied by reliability issues. Plato lags behind in the points 364 to 349, with Neal a long shot at 333. He has vowed to be his team-mates wingman, “and I can be an awfully good wingman.” Expect fireworks.
Last time at Silverstone, the BTCC showed its class, with both Plato and Mat Jackson taking back-to-front wins, carving through the field. More to the point, they did it cleanly.
It’s difficult to remember a time when door-to-door contact wasn’t a fact of life in the BTCC. Twenty years ago, the Harvey/Soper/Cleland saga played out brutally at Silverstone, handing Harvey the championship after the latter two came to grief. It’s unlikely whatever happens this weekend will be on that scale but whoever wins the championship at Brands won’t have it easy; let’s just hope they do it cleanly.