Gordon Shedden endured a ‘weekend to forget’ on his return to the British Touring Car Championship at Thruxton, with the Team Dynamics driver only picking up points in the final race of the day.
After three years away from the series, Shedden’s return was eagerly anticipated at Thruxton.
Changeable conditions throughout Saturday masked many drivers’ true pace, with Shedden managing to break into the top ten with the eighth best time in a wet-to-dry qualifying session.
In race one, Shedden had dropped behind the MB Motorsport Ford focus of Ollie Jackson, and as the pack went through Noble, Jackson eased off and caught Shedden unawares, resulting in the Scot going into the back of the Ford, losing control onto the grass and then spinning into the path of the Hyundai of Chris Smiley.
Both Shedden and smiley were out on the spot, also resulting in a big repair job for the teams and back-of-the-grid starting positions for race two.
With the Honda Civic repaired, in race two Shedden had been making progress before further contact saw him drop down the order and finish outside the points in 18th.
Weather played havoc with the order in race three, and Shedden was able to make progress through the field on wet-weather tyres, ultimately finishing in fourth.
“Well that was a bit of a weekend to forget for me,” said Shedden. “Two non-points finishes wasn’t what I was expecting!
“But hats off to the team to get me back out for race two, they had a massive amount of work to do from the race one incident.
“It is great to finish on a high though as we have looked strong all weekend and fair play to Dan [Rowbottom] in getting two top ten results.
“I’m happy with the way I’m driving, and the car felt hooked up, so you can guarantee we’ll be pushing hard again at the next round in June!”
Explaining his weekend-defining crash in race one, Shedden hadn’t expected Jackson in front of him to lift off as much as he did through Noble when his car became unsettled.
“It just all concertinaed up going through Noble, the fast left,” explained Shedden. “Ollie Jackson just kind of got on the kerb and it just unsettled him and then he got on the brakes and then came off the brakes and then had a second stab, but the freight train is moving by that stage.
“The last thing I want to be doing is having contact there. Obviously, the result is not only terrible for me, but for anybody. I could have done without that really.
“It was a hard hit. I’d been trying to get out of there and vacate the space and I ended up on the grass and with wet grass I was just completely out of control at that point.
“Then obviously I got collected by Chris Smiley as I was a passenger coming back across.”