The announcement of Gordon Shedden with Team WRT in the World Touring Car Cup was met with overwhelming excitement, and Shedden himself is among the most excited by the recent news.
It will be a big change for him as he leaves the British Touring Car Championship after 11 seasons and 3 championships with Team Dynamics, which Shedden confirmed as an odd feeling in an interview with Knockhill’s Duncan Vincent.
Nonetheless, a move to Audi as a factory driver comes as a great honour for Shedden who will become the first Scotsman at Ingolstadt since Allan McNish.
“It’s a little bit different if I’m honest, you know, I’ve spent the last 11 years of my life with Honda and Team Dynamics in British touring cars and it’s a bit of a wrench to leave,” spoke Shedden.
“On the flipside of the coin, I’m so excited to join Audi. As an Audi Sport driver it’s a huge privilige and to get the chance to travel the world, to go to all 4 continents, that’s something a bit different.”
“I think it’s something that is very special obviously, you know, Allan McNish was the last Scottish driver to fly the flag for Audi so I need to try and continue that and if I can do half as well as he did for the brand then I’m sure they’ll be happy.”
Despite his prominence on the British touring car scene, this will be Shedden’s first season in the international touring car paddocks and he sees the opportunity to visit some of the world’s top circuits as a mouth watering prospect.
“The calendar looks fantastic from street circuits and Marrakech, the Nordschleife in Germany will be a fantastic challenge especially with a German manufacturer.”
“Then to look further afield, I mean to go to Suzuka and to race in Japan will be fantastic and obviously the season finale in Macau will be a big weekend for sure.”
2-time Porsche Carrera Cup GB champion Dan Cammish will move into the seat vacated by Shedden and the Scotsman believes he will be a strong replacement although he will need to adapt to the harsher environment of touring cars.
“Dan will go well, I think he looks proven in the Carrera Cup, he finished on the pdoium in the Supecup and that will stand them in good stead.”
“There’s certainly no doubts that he’s fast just hopefully he can adapt to the rough and tumble of touring car racing.”
Shedden has previous history in TCR cars having driven a Volkswagen Golf on his debut in the TCR International Series last year in the Dubai finale.
However, the Audi RS3 LMS will be a new experience for the Scotsman and, although hesistent to comment on its performance, he believes the car looks like a strong competitor.
“I went to WRT on Monday in Belgium just to have a look and try and understand the car a bit more, but it looks fantastic, it’s really recognisable because it’s a saloon and not a hatchback.”
“You know, the silhouette, it’s very different to everything else on track and, yeah, if it goes as well as it looks then yeah it’s an exciting time ahead.”
Partnering 2017 TCR International Series champion Jean-Karl Vernay, his one-off team-mate in Dubai, Shedden will officially hit the track in his WRT Audi on the 7-8 April in Marrakech.