Gordon Shedden took heart from the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda’s performance with 66kg success ballast on board, after clinching his first win of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Brands Hatch.
The reigning champion was forced to play second fiddle to Tom Ingram in race one of the day at the Kent circuit, but went one better in the second after an early incident between Ingram’s Toyota and Rob Collard‘s BMW at Druids paved a clear route for the Scot.
Shedden was largely unchallenged for the rest of the encounter, leading home Honda team-mate Matt Neal in a one-two formation finish for the Halfords-backed squad.
“It’s alright! I’m quite chilled out about it all at the moment”, a relaxed Shedden told The Checkered Flag after his 41st BTCC win.
“I thought that we kind of had that sort of pace in the car, so we tweaked the car significantly. To get that kind of performance with 66kg ballast is good.”
The result saw both Honda drivers grace the podium for the second time in as many races, Shedden admitting that he was lucky to avoid being involved in the lap two kerfuffle between Ingram and Collard.
“I wasn’t [relaxed] when Tom [Ingram] and [Rob] Collard were knocking 10 bells out of each other on the second lap! That obviously played into our hands and I was lucky not to get taken out, but it worked fine.
“No damage, a good haul of points, so I’m very happy.”
While Shedden dodged that particular bullet, further drama was to come for numerous drivers in the closing stages of the race. Fluid on the circuit at Graham Hill Bend made conditions treacherous at the left hander, Shedden avoiding any dramas at the head of proceedings.
“I might just not have been pushing hard enough to go off at that stage”, Shedden quipped of the late dramas for many.
“By that stage, the last couple of laps were about just getting it home. No need to take any risks. When things go your way, it’s good. It can be easy to push too hard and make a bit of a mess of it.”
Shedden will start race three of the day from ninth on the grid, Sam Tordoff starting from pole position as the top nine finishers from race two are reversed.