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Gordon Shedden aiming for ‘phenomenal’ performance at home event

Defending champion Gordon Shedden is aiming to mark his home event at Knockhill with another strong hat-trick of results as the British Touring Car Championship makes it’s annual journey north of the Scottish border to the Fife circuit.

The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver put in three strong performances at Snetterton a week ago [30th-31st July] to close the deficit at the top of the standings to 25 points, including a victory in the reverse grid encounter after a strong pass on new standings leader Rob Collard in the closing stages.

The weekend started in fine fashion for Shedden, who smashed the qualifying lap record around the 2.99 mile circuit on Saturday afternoon after claiming pole position with a fastest time of 1:55.627, just 0.015 seconds ahead of Subaru’s Colin Turkington.

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Though the rear-wheel drive Levorg GT would ultimately claim the upper hand over the Type-R during the first contest on Sunday, Shedden fended the Ulsterman off in a fine demonstration of fair, hard racing for two-thirds of the 12 lap race.

Despite several instances of contact with others during the second race, the Scot still held onto a top ten finish to score valuable points in the title run-in. However, luck once again chose not to play the Scot a favourable hand, as the reverse grid draw failed to aid his cause and he started from 10th for race three.

That only made what came next all the more impressive, as Shedden carved his way through the top ten to second position, before putting series stalwart Collard under pressure in the closing stages. A robust move by the #52 car gave Shedden the lead on the final lap, which he duly held until the chequered flag.

Photo: Network Images

The results saw Shedden move from ninth to fourth in the standings, and he reflected on the weekend positively, elated at the change in fortune as a run of nine races without a podium finish came crashing to an end in Norfolk.

“Having anticipated a difficult weekend, our results at Snetterton definitely exceeded our expectations, enabling us to move up the championship standings and cut our deficit to the top of the table – so much so that I’m actually closer to the lead points-wise than I was at this stage last year!” explained Shedden.

He also believes that the results mark a return to the championship frame for both himself and Halfords Yuasa Racing, and he is aiming for a repeat performance on home soil.

“We’re right back in the fight and the gloves are off. We’ve obviously got a bit more ballast on-board again now, but we’re up for the challenge and if we can repeat our performance from Snetterton, that would be phenomenal.”

The seventh meeting of the season sees the BTCC head to the notoriously challenging and undulating Knockhill circuit, with several gradient changes, short straights and tight corners all characteristic of the popular 1.27 mile circuit, at which Shedden is also Commercial Director.

He admitted he values the opportunity to race in his locality and praised the spectators for the response he recieves annually, with victory as was the case last season at the forefront of his objectives.

“While the points are clearly worth the same at Knockhill as anywhere else, I only get to race in Scotland once a year so it does mean a lot to me – the support I receive is amazing and really gives me an extra spring in my step.”

The series reconvenes at Knockhill over the weekend of 13th-14th August, with another strong hat-trick of results for Shedden undoubtedly the key to the Scot moving firmly back into the picture for the title with just four rounds left to run this season.

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