I have caught up with the reigning British Touring Car champion, Gordon Shedden to discuss his three BTCC titles, Fiesta championship and teammate, Matt Neal.
· Who was your sporting idol during your childhood?
I didn’t really have an idol as such but I watched lots of motorsport just as a general interest. Obviously, when I went to Knockhill to watch BTCC for the first-time, John Cleland was the local hero. Without JC, my interest in racing wouldn’t have been as much.
- What was it like completing in the BTCC support series?
I raced in the Fiesta Championship which was the main saloon car support of the time. I’d only raced 1 season in Scotland and I remember just how much the goalposts moved when I went to race down south. The level of competition was really high,
· You slotted straight into BTCC and got your first BTCC win at Oulton Park in the seventh race of the 2006 season. How special was it to get that win under your belt during the rookie season?
Yes it was really important but to be honest I could have won sooner. I had a strong year finishing 4th overall.
· In 2010, you joined the Honda Civic team and reunited with Matt Neal. What is it like working alongside Neal, who helped you win some of your BTCC titles?
It goes without saying that Matt and I push each other incredibly hard on track but we get on really well off track. On paper, our closeness shouldn’t work, but it does… very very well. That has been a huge part of our success at Honda.
· 2012 saw you clinch your first BTCC title. How relieved were you to have to not face a last race title showdown against Neal and Jason Plato, after securing it in the 2nd race of the final round?
When I woke up that morning I knew I would win as it was raining. We had a much better wet setup than MG and Dynamics really got the jump on everyone with understanding the NGTC car. All I had to do was stay out of trouble… sounds easy doesn’t it?
· Your 2015 & 16 titles were both won in the very last race of the season against Plato and Sam Tordoff respectively. Which of those two victories did you enjoy clinching the most because both were hard fought for?
Both are very special for different reasons. 2015 was rescued from the real depths, 2016 was different as I wasn’t defending a lead going in to the last round. I could really just throw it all on the line. Defending the Championship was a real achievement especially given how competitive the series is.
· Which win is your all time favourite and why?
I’ve had lots of wins and they are all building blocks towards the Championships. I would say my favourite win will be my next one… and then the one after that and so on… If I can continue with many more, I’ll be very happy.
· What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?
It would be good to win 5 BTCC Championships.. I would also like to get to Le Mans for the 24 and compete in as many great races as possible.