Gordon Shedden says he will not give up in any of the remaining three rounds of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, despite an incident-packed home event at Knockhill last weekend.
The 2012 champion entered the Fife venue lying just 23 points adrift of series leader Colin Turkington, and left the same margin behind the West Surrey Racing driver at the end of the weekend.
The Scot qualified fourth on the grid before surviving two tangles during a turbulent first race on Sunday afternoon. The Honda Yuasa Racing man recovered to third, but then had to come from the back after a first-lap incident in race two, securing results of 12th and sixth in the remaining two races of an action-packed weekend for the Scot.
“It’s one of those weekends”, a smiling Shedden told The Checkered Flag afterwards, “but it is what it is – there’s nothing you can do about it.”
“I think I got away with quite a bit in race one, where there were quite a lot of incidents going on.”
The opening race saw Shedden involved in his fair dose of unplanned scrapes during the extended 27-lapper at his home circuit. The first of those incidents came about when the Scot arrived on the tail of second-placed Rob Austin, where the pair made contact exiting Clark Curve which resulted in Austin recovering from a wild fishtailing moment.
Shedden felt that a touch of malice may have resulted from that coming together, as the second race of the day saw the #52 Honda Civic Tourer facing the wrong way on the opening lap at Scotsman after contact in his rear quarter from Austin’s Audi, after the latter had attempted to take the lead from Shedden’s team-mate, Matt Neal.
The Honda man had his own qualms about that particular clash, saying: “I think, after race one, Austin knew exactly what he was doing in race two. But fair enough.”
Scotsman corner was also the scene of another lurid scare for Shedden in race one when, on lap 14, a move on the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic of Andrew Jordan at the first chicane left the pair side-by-side heading down the hill. Jordan got sideways across the kerb, slight contact sending Shedden spinning backwards into the reigning champion who suffered terminal rear suspension damage, while Shedden recovered to third.
Shedden felt more an innocent party in the collision, adding: “I think he bounced off the kerb and took me off; I was on the outside line and it was just him bouncing off the kerb that took us out.
“Had I not hit him then I would have been sat in the gravel which I suppose was a bit lucky.
“That was a combination of me getting back down the outside and him having a little bounce, and when you’re out on the marbles then it didn’t take much for me to spin. It’s just one of those things.”
The slight saving grace from the shenanigans was that title rival Turkington suffered a non-finish in the opening race at Scotsman Corner after a tangle with Jason Plato, although the pace of the Northern Irishman and his BMW at Knockhill appeared alarming in Shedden’s eyes.
“He did [have problems also], but we shouldn’t be relying on those problems. It’s just interesting when you’ve got a with 45kgs half a second ahead of everybody, and then from second to 15th is covered by half a second.”
Shedden heads now to a Rockingham circuit he has won at four times in his BTCC career, and says that he will fight as hard as possible while expecting another close weekend after admitting his surprise at how quick the Honda Civic Tourer was at Knockhill.
“It’ll be difficult to tell! I didn’t expect that we would go so well around here, and I think the car actually went pretty well. We just didn’t quite get the results”, concluded Shedden.
“It’s an interesting one but I’ll give it everything and just do what we can. We’ll move on and just go again. The car is strong though…really strong.”