Gordon Shedden believes that TCR and the British Touring Car Championship could learn from elements of one another in order to improve.
Shedden – arguably among the most qualified to make the comparison with three BTCC titles and driving experience of both the Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR and Audi RS3 LMS – also believes the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) has every chance of being ‘phenomenal’, profile-wise.
The Team WRT racer’s start to life in international competition on a full-time basis has been mixed with eleven non-scores juxtaposed against seven top-ten finishes, with a best result of fourth at the Zandvoort triple-header.
When asked by TouringCars.Net at the Slovakiaring whether the two categories have anything to learn from one another, Shedden believes adopting some elements would benefit both going forward.
“Absolutely. If I were running this series there are elements of both that I would incorporate because both are great championships,” he commented.
“So it’s about trying to take the best bits of each and I think there’s some things that would be easily adapted by both series which would make them better.”
Shedden made a well-publicised début in TCR machinery in Dubai at the final round of the 2017 TCR International Series, deputising for Rob Huff whilst the other fulfilled WTCC commitments in Macau.
For some, the profile of the BTCC makes a venture onto the world stage a risk, but Shedden believes the stock of international touring car racing is only set to rise in the near future.
“I think it’s only going to get better – obviously everyone is working hard from Eurosport’s [the WTCR promoter] point of view and the promotion,” he explained.
“It’s great as a worldwide platform and that’s what the manufacturers want and it’s great to be involved in.
“The cars are slightly different, but as long as the organisers keep everyone trying to play the same game, then it’s got every chance of being phenomenal.”
Despite making the transition himself, Shedden says that fellow BTCC drivers shouldn’t automatically follow suit because of the series’ status as a world event.
He did, however, admit the experience has opened his eyes to a ‘great big world’ beyond the TOCA paddock.
“It depends on the opportunities – as a racing driver you want to try and sit in the best car possible,” he added.
“There’s no point, I was thinking, in going to something just because it’s got status as a world event or whatever. I think it’s about trying to think ‘okay, well here’s an opportunity where we can compete and do a good job in the right car’.
“Everyone has their own reasons – profile-wise in the UK the BTCC is still leaps and bounds ahead of anything but having now experienced five or six months out here in this paddock it’s obviously quite clear that there’s a great big world out there and it’s not all about BTCC.”
WTCR resumes at Ningbo in China over the final weekend of September as the championship starts the first of four flyaway events to conclude it’s inaugural season.