Tyre-Conscious Shedden Says Start Was Key To Thruxton Win

Gordon Shedden said that his rapid start at Thruxton was key to his success in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship encounter of the day at the Hampshire circuit.

The win was the Dynamics squad’s fourth win in seven races this season, the 2012 champion leading home team-mate Matt Neal by just over a second after a lightning start by both for the team’s first one-two finish of the year.

Neal could not match his team-mate with 75kg of success ballast, but Shedden admitted that being in clear air was another crucial factor of his win.

“It was all done at the start,” said Shedden to The Checkered Flag after his race one win. “Aron didn’t get off the line, I was gone by half a lap in, but immediately you’re thinking about getting the tyres to the end.

Photo: Craig McAllister
Photo: Craig McAllister

“Even with that kind of a gap you still don’t know if you’re going to make it or not but the car was great right to the end, so I’m dead chuffed.

“To be fair the car was really good right to the end you always start hearing things around here about three of four laps from home and you think “no no no” and you just back off enough to get to the end. We’ve seen this in years gone by when you get the whole aero effect working on the front it tends to save the tyres a bit.”

The Scot moved to just four points of his team-mate Neal in the championship standings, and will start the second race of the day from fourth position based on fastest laps from race one.

Shedden added he kept it conservative in the closing laps, saying: “I was radioing in saying ‘what’s the lap times? What’s the lap times?”’ but when I got to the front with that kind of gap and I had to think of the here and now in race one to try and score the points.

“I couldn’t throw caution to the wind and start smashing kerbs all over the place, which obviously people have done to produce those lap times for race two. It’s going to be difficult with people up the front with a lot less weight, we’ll be stuck in the pack. So this is going to be a tough one but we’ll do what we can and see where we go for race three.”

Despite the latest Honda Civic model now having picked up four wins from the opening seven races of 2015, Shedden remained realistic about his championship chances with such a long way to go and many circuits suiting different manufacturers.

“You’ve just got to keep at it. There will be other circuits where lots of other cars come in to the mix, we’ve seen that again in the past”, said Shedden on his championship rivals.

“We’ll come to the next couple of rounds the BMW will be strong, couple after that the MG’ll be strong. Adam’s gone really well in the Merc and obviously you’ve got the VWs, so you’re going to get it from all angles. All we’ve got to try and do is try and score what we can as and when we can.”