Gordon Shedden brought himself closer to the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship lead with a third victory of the season at Rockinhgam, admitting that Honda will not give up on the title fight.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver grabbed a second pole position of the season in a sodden Saturday qualifying session at the Corby Motor Speedway, converting it into victory in race one the following day.
While 10th place followed when running the harder tyre in race two, the reigning champion charged up to second place behind winner Aron Smith in the final race of the day to lie just 20 points adrift of series leader, Sam Tordoff.
Speaking to media including The Checkered Flag afterwards, Shedden said: “I don’t think we would have expected that before [Sunday].
“Maximum score in race one with fastest lap, leading a lap, a win and pole position – we’re trying! I’m not giving up on this yet and I’m still going hard at it.”
On the final race of the day, Shedden admitted that Smith’s Volkswagen CC had the edge in crucial areas of the circuit, saying: “It was a nice way to finish as well. Started 10th and finished second; you’ve got to take that.
“After the last safety car it was difficult because I had Colin [Turkington] on my bumper, so I had to be a bit careful because I could have been shuffled back.
“If it had just been the two of us, I could have had a few more ideas up my sleeve. I had to work pretty hard in the first three or four laps to get through. The tyres were good, but I just didn’t have enough in the right places to make it count. It would have had to have been a fairly monumental lunge.”
Shedden ended the weekend 20 points adrift of the championship lead, still held by West Surrey Racing‘s Tordoff.
Honda team-mate Matt Neal leads the chase with only a five-point deficit to the BMW driver, Shedden admitting that the visit to Silverstone next month may suit their WSR rivals more.
“I think we’ll have a bit of a tough weekend at Silverstone”, admitted Shedden. “Hopefully we’ll be pretty damn good at Brands GP though. The gloves are off and myself and Matt will give it everything we’ve got.
“On balance, you could say the BMWs haven’t had a particularly good day. You could see they have a
lot of pace from Tordoff winning race two, but in this racing you never know.”