Gordon Shedden is looking forward to ‘being the new boy at school’ as Audi Sport’s newest recruit prepares for the inaugural FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR).
The Scot has managed four days of testing prior to travelling to Barcelona for the series’ official launch and test day, with the three-time British champion having more to learn than most of his rivals.
But Shedden admitted that he was not fazed by having to learn not only the car but also the circuits and his rivals’ driving styles, believing that it could even prove to be an advantage for him.
“I don’t know where we’re going to stack up, and I don’t think anybody can hand on heart say how the grid is going to form in the first two races,” said Shedden to TouringCars.Net. “It depends on the BoP [Balance of Performance], and it depends on so many things.
“But I think for a lot of the guys who have raced against each other for many years, they understand their strengths, their weaknesses, what makes them tick and what sends them off the scale.
“Nobody in the championship really knows me, and they don’t know what to expect or what I do or don’t do, so it’s quite nice to be the new boy at school and be a little bit under the radar.”
Although Shedden is amongst the drivers with the most to get up to speed with of the new series, he points out that both the former WTCC drivers and the former TCR International Series drivers also have new elements to learn.
“I’m not making it easy for myself, am I? I’m up for the challenge and I think that if I jumped into world touring cars at any time in the last two or three years it would have been really difficult, because the guys had got to know TC1 cars and they know all the tracks and the tyre.
“This is really my only opportunity to get even remotely close in terms of experience, because for the WTCC guys it’s a new car, and for the TCR International guys it’s new tracks and a new tyre, going from the Michelin to the Yokohama rubber.
“OK, I’m still on the back foot, but at least there are a few changes for most others, with the exception of Huffy who has experience of both.”