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Gordon Shedden hails ‘incredible feeling’ after securing third title

Newly crowned three-time British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden has hailed an ‘unbelievable’ achievement after the Halfords Yuasa Racing driver became the first man to successfully defend the championship since Fabrizio Giovanardi in 2008 with a dramatic finale at Brands Hatch.

Shedden, who came into the final triple header of the thirty-race season some twelve points adrift of eventual runner-up Sam Tordoff, gradually clawed his way back into the title frame by outscoring the BMW in all three races, culminating in a podium finish in the reverse grid contest that sealed his third crown by a margin of just two points.

For the second consecutive season the fight to win British motorsport’s most prestigious tin-top prize has taken Shedden to a final race showdown, something the Scot referenced moments after achieving the ultimate objective.

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“There has to be an easier way to do it?!” exclaimed a delighted Shedden to shortly after climbing down from the champions podium.

“I just didn’t expect to win it this weekend. Sam [Tordoff]’s done well, but I knew if I just chipped away I’d have half a chance and the car was just mental in the last race. I’ve tried to race it forward all year, I’ve made the moves, put my neck on the line… I needed every single one of those points at the very end.”

An early move on Tordoff in the reverse grid contest saw Shedden break clear and begin to put pressure on the Laser Tools Racing Mercedes A-Class of Aiden Moffat, though the latter held firm whilst Tordoff fell victim to the sister Mercedes of Adam Morgan behind. Though Morgan in turn put the pressure on Shedden and could have proved pivotal to the destiny of the title, a safety car stoppage allowed Shedden to regain his composure and see out the final lap showdown.

Shedden admitted his biggest concern ended up being Morgan, after he noticed early on in proceedings that Tordoff was set for a race-long battle with the handling of his BMW 125i M-Sport.

“I’d passed Sam and the pace in the car was good. To be fair he was sliding about a bit even before then, so I just thought if I keep it steady and keep it smooth then we’re going to be okay, but Adam Morgan had good pace and I thought I could do without him getting involved.

“When you have a couple of laps behind the safety car you’re trying to keep everything warm without overheating and then to go for one final lap is… you’ve got to get yourself going.

“It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Just an incredible feeling, back to back titles. It’s out of this world, just out of this world.”

He paid tribute to Tordoff on an outstanding campaign, the first time the 27-year old has seriously given the established contenders a headache across the entire season. Shedden believes the Team JCT600 with GardX driver is set to enjoy a silverware-laden future in due course.

“He’s driven well all year and it’s hard to carry seventy-five kilos on his car, he did well. Even in the last race he was fair, we had good racing and clean racing with him all year. His time will come and it won’t be far away without any shadow of a doubt. I’m sure he’ll go away tonight happy with what he’s done this year but he’ll probably have learnt some stuff as well.”

He also took a moment to pay tribute to team-mate Matt Neal who was ruled out of the final race with concussion after an incident in race two, ending his own championship hopes. Neal left the circuit early to recover at home and was absent from the presentations after the final race.

“It’s a shame Matt [Neal] had the accident in race two, because it would have been great to have him up there as well, he could have easily won four [titles], he had good pace today. But concussion ruled him out and he’s on his way back to base.”

For now though, Shedden intends to celebrate his achievement with Honda and his family, before getting back to the grind in pursuit of a record-equalling fourth crown with Team Dynamics next year.

“A lot can happen over the winter. I’ll enjoy this one just now and then we’ll see what we can do over the winter and we’re going to have to take more steps forward because if we dont’t, we’ll get swamped.”

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