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also variable valve timing fitted. That improved the torque of the engine and helped, but the mid-season reduction negated that magic bullet. That is what led to the anti-climax where Tordoff was not able to fight with Shedden.
Tordoff has said that he will take time out from racing to consider his future – and he might quit the BTCC altogether. That would be a shame for a man who has made so much progress over the last 12 months.
His team-mate Rob Collard, now 49, was in the title hunt too after an Indian summer to his career.
He is very familiar with the car and was a race winner, but his Achilles Heel was his qualifying performances. His average starting position was lower than 16th and he had to put in some stunning comeback drives – he even led the points after Snetterton in July.
However, he had been taken out of the race at Oulton through no fault of his own and was savaged by Colin Turkington’s Team BMR Subaru at Knockhill when he was on course for a bumper haul of points. Those were to prove his undoing.
That Shedden was even in a position to snatch the crown was remarkable. Going into the second half of the year, he was 54 points behind the summit and a third crown seemed a long way off.
The Scottish racer suffered some truly awful luck over the opening races with the Team Dynamics-created Honda Civic Type-r. He picked up two points-sapping punctures at the beginning of the campaign and then was wiped out in a multi-car accident at Thruxton that had been precipitated by his team-mate Matt Neal. The real nadir came at Croft at the end of June, when he scored only four points.
The Civic Type-r had been fitted with a new two-litre turbocharged powerplant this season with a manifold built in to the engine block itself.
Privately, the team was worried about heat soak through the engine, and was fearing any restarted races that may occur during 2016 because there was a chance that they would frazzle the block.
That was allayed pretty early on, but there was another concern – the engine was prone to spiking the boost levels. That meant that during the opening part of the season, the drivers were running had been they stayed
That away also pointed of the
Shedden engine from After
From the season, late July, position massive ultimately Tordoff
The 2016 season produced more race winners than at any time in the modern generation.
There were more than a dozen drivers on the top of the rostrum at various points over the 30 races, and that meant picking the star talents was tough.
And, when the going gets tough, MN hands over the hard decisions to other people. We asked the 17 different team managers and owners for their opinion on who were the stand-out performers of the 2016 campaign.
The only rules were that the bosses weren’t allowed to choose drivers from their own outfits in the final reckoning.
The results are interesting and have unearthed a few stars of the season who might not necessarily be stealing the headlines.