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Gordon Shedden admits race three puncture came ‘out of the blue’

Gordon Shedden admits the puncture that saw him retire from the third British Touring Car Championship race last weekend at Oulton Park came without prior warning, catching both the defending champion and his Halfords Yuasa Racing team by surprise.

Shedden started the weekend in consistent fashion, claiming a brace of fourth place finishes in the opening two contests before running second behind team-mate and eventual race winner Matt Neal in the third encounter prior to his puncture in the closing stages of the race.

The end of result of the non-finish leaves Shedden fourth in the Drivers standings, with a deficit of 27 points to make up to the new championship leader, Sam Tordoff, as the circus heads next to the stronghold of the BMW 125i M-Sport – Croft.

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Shedden believes that the Honda Civic Type-R demonstrated it was the ‘best of the rest’ after the rear-wheel drive runners at Oulton Park and that both he and the works Honda outfit extracted the most they could from the weekend up until his race three incident.

“I think it’s fair to say the Civic Type R was the fastest front wheel-drive car at Oulton and given the advantage that the rear wheel-drive cars enjoyed, we definitely extracted the most that we could from races one and two,” commented Shedden.

“Race three was looking even better and then we got the puncture so close to the end, which was massively disappointing. It came completely out of the blue; there was no tyre drop-off and the car felt fine.”

He also admitted that, with the benefit of hindsight, there were some areas during the race that the two-time champion could have backed off and preserved the tyre life, but ultimately conceded that he was simply a victim of misfortune on this occasion.

“In hindsight, given the advantage we had, perhaps we could have backed off a bit earlier but neither of us was taking any unnecessary risks – it was just pure bad luck.”

“Still, we proved once again that we have the pace so we’ll put it behind us and move onto the next one.”

The next three rounds of the BTCC will take place at Croft in just under two weeks time [18th-19th June].

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