Former Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden felt that the Honda Yuasa Racing team were left behind in terms of power performance during last weekend’s sixth meeting of the season at Snetterton, and will give it everything at Knockhill to return the favour.
The 2012 champion felt that his results of seventh, third and fifth were crucial towards his championship chase of current leader, Colin Turkington, who picked up three podium finishes at Norfolk to extend his lead over the Honda man to 23 points after six meetings.
The weekend also showcased the different boost and outright straight-line performances of each car on the grid, Shedden and Neal’s Honda Civic Tourers appearing to struggle to match the likes of rivals such as Volkswagen, MG and BMW down the 300 circuit’s long straights.
“I think I made the best of what I had available”, Shedden told The Checkered Flag afterwards, praising the car’s performance while calling for a more level playing field after several rivals stretched their legs from the Hondas noticeably down Bentley Straight.
“I think you need three things out of a car, and we’ve got two of them – it goes around the corners fantastically well and it can stop on a sixpence at the moment. The other one is a quite obvious element, which just hasn’t worked for us this weekend.
“I think I made a good job of it though and we’ve worked hard as a team; Matt [Neal] helped me out as much as he could in qualifying and the early races.
“You’ve got to make the best of your bad weekends. We need to come up with something, but we scored some decent points and stayed out of trouble, scored points in all three races again and it is these points that could even be crucial towards the end of the year. You never know!”
With the inevitable debates surrounding boost levels, equalisation and rear-wheel drive against front-wheel drive discussions continuing away from the drivers behind the scenes, Shedden added that he was conscious about those involved being viewed as ‘moaners’ in their calls to continue to find a level ground.
He continued: “You see anything about this and people assume you’re moaning. We’re not. The issue is that I’ve had it with Jason [Plato] in race three and [Aron] Smith in race one where I can be tucked up under the bootlid of them coming onto the straights, then you get to the end of it and they’re six car lengths ahead.
“That’s what’s frustrating, because you just want to have a level playing field so that everyone can have a dig. We don’t have enough power is the bottom line.
“I don’t think something is missing from our end, but it’s just the facts of life. We think of it a little bit as equalisation, but obviously this is our livelihoods; it’s what pays the mortgage, and we don’t want to be made to look silly. You just want to be there to have the same opportunities.””
Shedden now lies 23 points adrift in the championship from overall leader Turkington heading to his home circuit in Knockhill, the Scot also given an early advantage by his West Surrey Racing BMW rival being forced to serve an eight-place grid penalty for the first race in Fife on 23/24 August.
Shedden aims for victory at Scotland, concluding: “We’ll give it everything. Don’t get me wrong, we’re giving it yahoo everywhere!”