In a similar manner to 12 months ago, the final race of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship was won under dismal weather conditions by Gordon Shedden, the former BTCC champion enjoying a remarkable comeback from a heavy race one accident as Honda look towards potentially a new model for next season.
Sunday’s final round action began in the worst possible manner for the 2012 champion, who was the victim of contact with Fabrizio Giovanardi heading into the first corner of race one which created chaos behind the spinning Honda. Shedden’s car was collected heavily by several cars, predominantly Rob Austin‘s Audi A4 and the Volkswagen CC’s of Alain Menu and Jack Goff.
“Whatever we do we need to be competitive but I do hope it is the Type-R because it will be a cracking little touring car.”
The impact registered 28g, Honda working frantically as they succeeded in repairing the Civic Tourer in time for the latter pair of races, Shedden storming through from fifth on the grid in a sodden final race under darkening skies to his third win of the season, securing third place in the standings as a reward.
Shedden spoke to The Checkered Flag afterwards, saying: “It was a nice finish, I’ve kept saying that the car has been mega all year. If you had asked me if I had a chance of winning a race today after that crash earlier then I’d have said no chance.
“The team worked hard to fit a new back end on it, the impact was 28g and was a big shunt. To go from there to a race win is mega.”
Although Honda in the end missed out on the Manufacturers’ Championship to works rivals, MG, Shedden insisted that the fact the Dynamics squad remained a consistent threat for success throughout the season was a testament to the efforts of Honda, as they introduced a bold project with the Civic Tourer in 2014.
Shedden commented: “It was a bold project at the start of the year, people thought we were crazy but we’ve won races, we’ve created a bit of history.
“I’m proud of what everyone has achieved this year because people said we were mad to bring the Tourer so look what we have achieved. We’ve created some history by winning races and been competitive all year pretty much.
“Sometimes you don’t get the balance, but the car was brilliant.”
Turning attentions swiftly onto the future, the Scot added that the works outfit are hopeful of continuing their participation in the BTCC in 2015, with the best option on the table looking to be the manufacturer’s newest Type-R model.
“Obviously we want to race the Type-R,” explained Shedden. “Whatever we do we need to be competitive but I do hope it is the Type-R because it will be a cracking little touring car.”
The Scot also confirmed that team-mate Matt Neal returned from a precautionary trip to hospital from the opening race accident at Brands Hatch on Sunday without serious further injuries. Neal was already suffering with rib injuries sustained in a karting accident last weekend, complaining of more pain after the latest incident at Paddock Hill Bend at the weekend.