New TCN Logo

Upcoming events:

New TCN Logo

Gordon Shedden: New RML components undergoing ‘constant evolution’

Gordon Shedden believes getting a handle on the new RML specification components for this years British Touring Car Championship will be crucial if he and the works Honda Yuasa Racing squad are to retain the drivers and manufacturers championship crowns they secured last season.

Shedden, who was in attendance at a drying Thruxton on Thursday 18th February with the Team Dynamics engineers to put their new 2016-spec Honda Civic Type-R through it’s paces around the challenging 2.4 Hampshire venue, took time out to speak to about the task facing him and the team to understand the new components before the series opener at Brands Hatch in April.

He believes the principle of approaching the development remains the same, but in many respects also feels the switch from the GPRM kit puts the pit lane back to square one. Bearing this in mind, he also feels getting pre-season testing underway at an early stage will pay dividends for Dynamics when the racing resumes.

- Advertisement -

“I think the philosophy remains the same, but with all the new regulations for this year in terms of the RML parts and how to get the best out of them, it is like going back to step one again.” explained Shedden.

“We don’t know who’s going to get out of the blocks running to start with, but I’m definitely glad that we’re running at this stage of the year, put it that way. It’s a big benefit for us.”

The reigning champion will return to defend his crown alongside long term team-mate and three time winner, Matt Neal. This year the two are also joined in the works Honda outfit by the returning Andy Neate, who last ran in the UK’s premier motorsport series in 2014 with his self-made team, IP Tech Race Engineering.

Shedden believes the consistency of Honda, on both a driving and engineering front, will translate effectively to the circuit as they look to once again remain at the sharp end of the field.

“We’ve always said our [strength] as Honda has been our consistency.” he commented.

“We’ve got a lot of people who have been here at Dynamics and Honda for a long, long time and that makes a massive difference – it’s going to be even more important this year. It’s going to be close, there’s going to be some mega competition up and down the pitlane and we’re going to have to be at our best to be at the front of it.”

When quizzed about the difference between the older GPRM kit and the new components, Shedden admitted the two aren’t very comparable, but also explained how this fits in with their respective development cycles.

“It is slightly different. I think you’ve got to remember that the GPRM kit that we’ve finished with was at the end of a five-year development cycle, so our car was mega at the end of last year. And we’re jumping into something that’s at the very start of it’s development, so the two feel very different but are producing similar lap times. It’s just you’ve got to try and decide what’s going to be the way forward, not for the first three races but the next three years.” he said.

Thruxton is a unique circuit on the calendar in several respects and is afforded it’s own special tyre compound by Dunlop, the official tyre suppliers to the series. Generally, it is understood that testing here rarely produces data that can be applied to the cars on a broader range of circuits, but Shedden feels that all data is valuable at this stage as they continue an extensive programme that has also included a week’s running at Parcmotor Castelloli in Spain.

“It’s actually ended up being quite a nice day [Thursday 18th February] , temperature wise. It is unique, it’s the only opportunity we get to test on the Thruxton-spec tyre, so we have to come and test here. It’s all valuable data as we move forward, it’s just constant evolution at the minute, we’re having to learn as we go along.”

He also admitted that the main focus for the rest of pre-season for him and the team is to get the reliability and performance of the new car nailed, as well as gathering as much information before the season starts in a little over five weeks time.

“We’re looking for reliability, we’re looking for performance – we’ve got some really tricky new stuff on the car that is a bit of an eye-opener. It’s all fine, just getting some more information into those memory banks.”

“I think we’re about a month ahead of where we were last year. I don’t think Type-R touched the track until week one or week two maybe of March last year with a test at Brands, so to be running in February is a big bonus for us.” he commented.

With their main rivals from last season, Team BMR, currently in the workshops preparing a quartet of brand-new Subaru Levorg Sports Tourers, Team Dynamics will undoubtedly be keen to continue pressing home any potential advantages from testing at an earlier date as the clock counts down towards the official Season Launch, which is due to be held at Donington Park on March 22nd.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

- Advertisement -

Related News

- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here