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Gordon Shedden ‘surprised’ by lack of Honda pace at Croft

Gordon Shedden admitted he was surprised to find himself off the pace at Croft as Halfords Yuasa Racing endured a frustrating weekend at the 2.13 mile Yorkshire circuit, picking up just four points.

The defending champion slipped from fourth to ninth in the championship across the course of the triple-header, a weekend that started in disappointing fashion in qualifying, with Shedden languishing in 15th, some 0.825 seconds behind pole-sitter, Colin Turkington.

The Scot maintained the status quo in the first contest to bank a solitary point, but improved marginally in race two to chalk up another three. However, the decision to start the wet race three on slick tyres backfired and he crossed the line a frustrating 22nd.

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Shedden now heads into the summer break with a 52 point deficit to standings leader Sam Tordoff and, most remarkably, is now just ten points clear of Subaru’s Colin Turkington, who up until the fourth meeting of the season at Oulton Park had failed to break into the top eight in a single race.

Reflecting on the weekend, Shedden was quick to assert that the front-wheel drive of his Honda Civic Type-R was not an excuse for the poor performance.

“We’ve not been on the pace all weekend which was certainly a surprise, because the Civic Type R is a very good package and was strong round here last year.” he commented.

“Yes, Croft is traditionally a rear wheel-drive circuit, but other front wheel-drive cars did ok so I don’t subscribe to that excuse.”

He also admitted the call for slick tyres in the third race was an attempt to close the performance gap to those in front, with their grid position making the decision much easier.

“In race three, knowing we couldn’t compete on outright pace, we decided to roll the dice because from where we were starting, we had nothing to lose.”

Despite the frustrations, the Scot vowed to go away over the summer break and work on the solutions in order to come back fighting at Snetterton as he bids to re-ignite his championship defence.

“The bottom line is we weren’t good enough and there are clearly some elements missing that we need to put our finger on, but we have a decent break now that we will use to reassess, figure everything out and come up with an action plan for the second half of the season.”

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