Gordon Shedden enjoyed a ‘fantastic day’ in the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) at Wuhan on Sunday, starting with a first pole position and ending with a first victory on the street circuit.
The Audis had already proven themselves as the form car to have on the Chinese city circuit on Saturday, when Shedden’s Leopard Lukoil team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay took pole and a win.
The Scot then out-performed everyone in the Sunday morning qualifying session, beating Comtoyou Racing Audi driver Frédéric Vervisch to pole by less than a tenth of a second.
The reverse grid race which came up before the main race then threw a spanner in the works as Shedden was taken out on the opening lap, with his car suffering from damaged steering which had to be fixed between the races.
The WRT mechanics pulled off the feat, giving Shedden the car to claim a first win at last, despite Vervisch and Denis Dupont trying their hardest to get past – Dupont even clattering into the side of Shedden after a clumsy mis-timed move.
“Wins in the WTCR don’t come easy and today has been exactly that: trials and tribulations, ups and downs,” said Shedden. “From a fantastic qualifying this morning to qualify on pole position and then get involved with somebody who hit me in race two and broke the steering rack.
“The guys at WRT did an amazing job to replace the steering rack. I didn’t even think I’d make the grid to be able to start from pole position.
“Race three was very eventful, there was lots going on. Denis was exciting… but we made it to the end and it’s fantastic to get my first win and also to have two more Audis on the podium. It has been a fantastic day for the RS3 Audis.”
Shedden was also tagged by Dupont on the opening lap, pitching him into a slide which he held, before he was hit later on in the race by the Belgian, who threw a stack of tyres into Shedden’s door.
“Street circuits are notoriously tight and it’s obviously difficult to judge braking points, and I was determined to make sure I got to Turn 1 first.
“There was a little bit of contact – and a strange one later on when Denis clipped a tyre bundle and it threw it into the side of my car. It sounded crazy in the car, like a bomb had gone off.
“It was just so strange because I had no idea what had happened, I was just minding my own business. The resonance was so loud it was deafening in the car – it was crazy.
“I’d never heard anything like it and didn’t have a clue what had happened. But the car survived, and we made it to the end, and that’s all that matters.
“It’s my first win and I could not be happier.”