A terrible weekend in terms of luck for Gordon Shedden dropped him from first to third in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, the Scot wanting to put his Snetterton visit behind him quickly.
Leading by 10 points heading into the sixth meeting of 2015, the Honda Yuasa Racing driver’s misfortune struck as early as Saturday’s qualifying session when a power steering failure left him struggling to a lowly 16th place on the grid.
75kg of success ballast limited the Civic Type-R driver to 14th place as tyre degradation became more severe consequentially, but worse was to come in race two when a concertina effect heading into Hamilton’s on lap one ended with Shedden being fired into the barriers unintentionally by team-mate, Matt Neal.
Suspension damage put the 2012 champion out, while Neal later retired also with increasing front-end damage. While the latter recovered to 11th in race three, Shedden again was a retirement, now 32 points adrift of series leader, Jason Plato, who scored results no worse than fourth all Sunday.
After a bruising weekend, Shedden admitted: “I don’t really know what to say. I don’t think I’ve ever had a weekend where I’ve had so much bad luck. It is what it is, we’ve got to move on and make the best of the next one now.
“These kind of weekends happen every now and then, but the team has worked so hard and while luck wasn’t on our side the car was still great. We’re going to put this one behind us and come out fighting at Knockhill.”
While Shedden heads to his home circuit next at Knockhill in Fife, Neal aims to repeat his victory of 2014 at the same venue on 22/23 August after dropping further crucial points to sixth place – now 42 behind Team BMR‘s Plato.
Neal himself echoed the woes for Honda in Norfolk, saying: “The weekend hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. It was a bit of a rough weekend for both of us – for racing and results.
“At stages like this you have to look forward and as I said to Flash, in this game we’ve got to be able to roll with the punches – you’ve got to have tough races and tough weekends to appreciate the good ones.
“Unfortunately this has been a bit of a hard weekend for us but the positives are: we will be a bit lighter going into the next round, we’ve got a great car under us with some great speed and a great team behind us. I’m taking those positives, my glass is half full. It was a bad day at the office but we’ll bounce back.”
Honda retained their lead in the Constructors’ Championship however, but by a reduced five-point cushion over Triple Eight/MG.