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Gordon Shedden ‘under no illusions’ ahead of finale

Gordon Shedden said that his title challenge had not been made easier by a stronger than expected British Touring Car Championship weekend at Silverstone.

Shedden’s Honda Civic Type-R had been expected to struggle relative to championship rivals Jason Plato and Colin Turkington’s  pair of Team BMR Volkswagen CCs around the Northamptonshire circuit, but third, fourth and fifth place finishes helped to extend Shedden’s points lead.

As a result, Shedden will start the final weekend of the season at Brands Hatch with a 23-point advantage over Plato, with 67 still on offer.

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Speaking after Sunday’s races, the Team Dynamics driver said he had expected to finish the weekend behind in the championship race, and as such was delighted with his results.

“They’re really strong results,” said Shedden when asked by TouringCars.Net about his haul. “No wins today but [we scored] fantastic points nonetheless.

“I think we expected to be a little better here than we had been in previous years, but I think it shows the strength of the package that we’ve got; we’ve got the car well dialed in, even with a lot of ballast.

“I’m at home in the car and it was great to come here and race because it hasn’t really been like that for the last couple of years.

“Like everybody we thought that Jason would probably outscore us this weekend, and for us it was about minimising any damage and to try to go to Brands, if possible, in the lead but worse case not too far behind.

“Ultimately it’s ended up a little bit more favourable than that so it’s been fantastic.”

Despite a healthy advantage Shedden insisted that he would be taking nothing for granted at Brands Hatch, where he hoped fortune would be on his side.

“I’m happy with what we’ve got in the car but it’s still going to be close. There’s plenty of points on offer, we can see how quickly that the championship can twist and turn – a puncture, a non-finish, contact and all of a sudden that lead has gone.

“I’m under no illusions but we’ll keep our heads down and try to stay out of trouble and all I can do is the best I can.

“You need the luck, you need the cards to fall your way and that’s the one thing you can’t control. You can cover as many bases as you can with car, with team, with setup, with engineers and you try and obviously drive it well but somewhere along the line you need a little bit of luck and I hope I get some at Brands.”

Shedden’s Honda team face a potential dilemma at Brands Hatch, with team-mate Matt Neal also in contention for the title – 37 points back in fourth.

But the 2012 champion said that any conversation about team orders was yet to take place, and would instead take place over the final weekend.

“We’ll figure it out when we get to Brand,” said Shedden. “We want to win the manufacturers’ championship for Honda [and] we desperately want to win the drivers’ championship.

“Matt want’s to finish as high up himself as well so we have to play it by ear and see how we go at Brands – like I say, we’ll give it our best shot.”

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