Shedden: I’d Have Struggled To Do Much Better

A consistent weekend in the fifth British Touring Car Championship meeting at Croft for Gordon Shedden kept the Honda Yuasa Racing driver right on the tail of championship leader Colin Turkington heading into the mid-season summer break.

The 2012 BTCC champion was the closest man to Turkington all weekend in North Yorkshire during a meeting mostly dominated by the West Surrey Racing BMW of Turkington, and ended the day just seven points behind the Northern Irishman after two second place finishes and a fourth in race three.

Qualifying on the front row behind the 2009 champion, Shedden followed the BMW 125i home in races one and two for a pair of comfortable second place finishes in the improving Honda Civic Tourer.

Shedden told The Checkered Flag afterwards that although the points were important, catching the in-form Turkington and BMW proved a tough task as he finished just over six seconds ahead in both the opening encounters.

“I’m happy with the points”, he said, “but obviously still a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t challenge Colin more in races one and two.

“But that is what we’ve got at the moment, and we’ve done a good job. I’d have struggled to improve at all with the package that we’ve got available to us at the moment.

“It’s frustrating, but I can’t change it and there’s no point worrying about it because all that Matt [Neal] and I can do is keep making the package as good as possible – and the Tourer is going well. We’ve got a good car, in fact we’ve got a fantastic car.”

The third and final race of the day was one littered with its fair share of skirmishes, Shedden fighting through to a podium finish from ninth on the grid. The Scot however was later demoted to fourth after his move on Mat Jackson‘s Motorbase Performance Ford Focus at Hawthorn was adjudged to have been unfair.

On the race, Shedden added: “A frantic third race! The first lap didn’t go well for me at all and the doors didn’t open up for me so the podium seemed a long way away.”

Turkington and Shedden Croft 2014
Turkington (l) and Shedden (r) have proved the most consistent of 2014

The summer break now gives the works Honda team a chance to develop their eye-catching new-for-2014 Civic Tourer, which Shedden says is currently performing superbly after five meetings.

Those meetings have also seen Shedden avoid any non-finishes so far in 15 races, consistency the key in his eyes to this season’s title race.

“We’re using the car and the handling of the car well, tyres are good and the Tourer is handling the tyres well so we can look to now make a bit of progress”, concluded Shedden.

“Points in every race makes a big difference. Points in all 15 races so far is certainly making a difference as you have got to keep scoring to stay in it as the year goes on.

“We’re in the situation now where we just need to make another step. I’m not quite sure where it’s going to come from because the car feels great! We’ll put our heads together, we’ve been in this game for a long time as a team so we’ll do the best that we can to improve.”

The season now heads into a five-week break over the summer before the sixth round at Snetterton on August 2/3.

Updated championship standings after round 5/10:

1) Colin Turkington


2) Gordon Shedden


3) Andrew Jordan


4) Jason Plato


5) Rob Collard


6) Mat Jackson


7) Matt Neal


8) Sam Tordoff


9) Aron Smith


10) Fabrizio Giovanardi