Three-time BTCC champion Gordon Shedden claimed the title with a storming drive to third place in the final showdown
What was your attitude going into this event? You were 11 points adrift coming to Brands Hatch “I’ve actually been really relaxed because I didn’t think it was going to happen. With Sam Tordoff ahead in the points and with the ballast and reversed grids and so on I thought it was going to be really difficult to do – and it was, but I thought it would be more difficult.”
Did you enjoy it? “In terms of entertainment, the BTCC again comes down to the last race of the championship and what a storming race it was. When I was sitting on the grid for race three, I knew I was going to have to pass Sam. In the race, he was slipping and sliding a bit and I knew that I had to get on with it and make it count. The Civic Type R was just mint and it has been a great car all season.” Did you think that the title was off the radar at any point this season? “There has to be an easier way to win a championship than this. We were shocking at Croft [the fifth meeting] and I thought it was lost, but we stuck to the task in the second half of the year and I’ve given it everything. Even at Silverstone [the penultimate round], where I had a puncture in race one, I thought it was gone but it is amazing how quickly you can turn it around.
“The BTCC is so competitive now, so many people can win races that you need to be absolutely on it.
“Every point has been a prisoner all year and you have had to go out there and win them. I’ve risked everything at times. I’ve made some very bold moves, I’ve been on the edge more often than not but every single one of those has been absolutely necessary for the title victory in the end.” Where does this rate among your previous title wins? “All of the titles have felt different. The first one was phenomenal, last year was an absolute rollercoaster of emotion. This year, in fact, it didn’t actually feel like I was going to win it until I was a lap from home. Then it was a release of emotion.” Where does the Honda programme go from here? “We’re going to have to make this car even faster for next year. The Subaru has been strong, the BMW and the Ford are there as well. We have to get on with it and improve massively. There will be no rest for us.” Additional reporting: Matt Burt
Shedden: third triumph