Leopard Racing’s Gordon Shedden was frustrated with his weekend in the FIA World Touring Car Cup races in Hungary, as the Audi driver left the Hungaroring without any points for the second year in a row.
Although Shedden had been 11th fastest in second practice on Saturday, four tenths off his team-mate Jean-Karl Vernay, come qualifying the gap had widened and he was only able to put his RS3 in 24th on the grid.
The Scot then retired from the first race with suspension damage after contact from the CUPRA of Tom Coronel, having been running just outside the top ten and set for a points finish.
Sunday did not prove to be any better for Shedden, as he qualified in 25th, a second slower than his team-mate. From there, the races saw the three-time BTCC champion battling in the mid-pack.
“Quite clearly for whatever reason we can’t make my car do what theirs does,” said Shedden to TouringCars.Net. “The operating window just seems to be incredibly small.
“In FP2 we were OK and we were running around fine, there was only a couple of tenths between me and JK, and then we bolt on new tyres for qualifying and they don’t work. That’s been the story all weekend – we can’t make the new tyres work.
“When you qualify around there then you can’t come forward. The anomaly with the weather alleviates the problem a little bit, and we got up to tenth or 11th for a bit on race two, but only because the weather was sketchy, and you can then make a bit of progress.”
Shedden retired from the second race after contact, firstly from Niels Langeveld at Turn 1, followed by contact with the alfa Romeo of Ma Qing Hua after he rejoined the circuit following the first hit from Langeveld.
Although Shedden finished race three, it was down in 21st position after his mechanics had repaired his car in between the races.
The incidents, coupled with a lack of pace, left the 40-year-old feeling frustrated with his weekend at the Hungaroring.
“Niels dive-bombed me on the way into Turn 1. He hit me that bloody hard, which he really didn’t need to do. He was heading into unknown territory on a wet line, which was always going to be risky.
“The onus is always on the faster driver or the person making the overtake to make sure it’s clean.
“Following on from that, I don’t have a clue what Ma is on. He hits me in race two and takes me out of the race, and then he hit me again in race three. In fact, both the Alfas hit me in race three – I think Kevin [Ceccon] hit everybody in race three.
“It’s disappointing because coming from 25th and getting to tenth or 11th or something at least we would have got some points.
“The racing is great; I just wish we had the performance to be able to fight. Race two was a lot of fun until it abruptly ended.
“We need to find a way to extract more from the tyre in qualifying trim, that’s the crux of the issue. Then if we start further up the grid we’ll race in better places.
“We’ve just got to go through it and make the car more suited to me. We’ve got a lot of information to go through.
“We’ve got to try to understand the situation a bit more before Slovakia. We need changes and to find a way to make me and the car works as one, because at the minute it’s all a bit disjointed.”