The Knockhill weekend of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) will have just that extra bit of interest for the Scottish race fans at the Fife track, with Honda driver and fellow Scot Gordon Shedden in best position of his career to challenge for the championship.
“Racing in the BTCC in front of my home crowd is always awesome but this year it's going to be even more special,” said Shedden. “I'm in the strongest position I've ever been in and doing the business at Knockhill and leaving with the championship lead is of course the dream scenario.”
Shedden enters the 3-4 September event just eight points behind current leader Mat Jackson, and with 15 points on offer of a win, and three races to win Shedden's “dream scenario” could easily become reality, moving him a step closer to being the first Scotsman to take the BTCC title since Touring Car legend John Cleland in 1995.
“I've driven thousands of laps around Knockhill but it counts for zero,” Shedden conceded. “The drivers at this level are into the groove with any track within five laps. I've got a great car in the Honda Civic and a great team in the Honda Racing Team but we will all have to be at the top of our game on Knockhill weekend to keep our championship challenge going.”
Shedden scored his third win of the during the previous meeting at Snetterton. However, it was a move in the third race of the day, while he was in the lower half of the top ten, that arguably drew more attention when he deliberately drove into a foam barrier to remove a piece of damaged bodywork – escaping a black-and-orange flag and salvaging all-important points for the 31-year-old.
“The move at Snetterton was very risky – I don't know if I could do that again if I was given another 100 attempts! But I had nothing to lose and it paid off and although Mat Jackson won the race and slipped ahead of me in the championship it means I'm just that little bit closer to him.”
For the first time in a number of years the home track fan will have a second Scottish driver to cheer on in the BTCC races. Inverness based Dave Newsham goes to Knockhill after him best BTCC meeting of his rookie season, the SEAT driver battling against Shedden's title rivals Jackson, Matt Neal and Jason Plato during the final race of the Snetterton raceday.
Also at Knockhill will be the Touring Cars' regular supporting series – the Ginetta Juniors, Ginetta GT Supercup and Porsche Carrera Cup GB, plus the Scottish Classic Sports and Saloons and Mini Cooper Cup championships.