GOR­DON SHEDDEN

Three-time BTCC cham­pion Gor­don Shedden claimed the ti­tle with a storm­ing drive to third place in the fi­nal show­down

Motor Sport News - - Headline News -

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

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