Gordon Shedden will be hoping to make it back to back championships
(Photo from: www.btcc.net)
In this eight part series I will be looking at each of the eight drivers who have a mathematical chance of winning the 2016 British Touring Car Championship. The seventh part will be looking at reigning champion and current runner up Gordon Shedden.
Having won the 2015 title, his second, in the final race of the season, Shedden knows all about winning championships. Regarded by many as the best front wheel drive driver on the grid, Shedden has had another strong season in the Yuasa Halfords Honda.
Shedden’s title defence started perfectly at Brands Hatch as he registered a second in the first race of the day, only behind Tom Ingram and a maiden win of 2016 in the second race. However a retirement in the final race of the day following a puncture at Paddock Hill bend meant he failed to score.
Donington Park was another strong weekend for Shedden as three points finishes including a second in the third race of the day, which completed a Honda 1-2, ensured he was second in the standings only behind teammate Neal.
Despite obvious searing pace throughout the season, misfortune and inconsistencies have been Shedden’s downfall in 2016, which was summed up perfectly at Thruxton. Running well in the first race of the day, he retired on the pit straight after contact with teammate Neal. A fantastic drive through the field in race 2 saw him finish fourth however another retirement following more contact, this time with Jack Goff, in the third race of the day meant he left Thruxton with just a single point’s finish.
Another two fourths in the first two races at Oulton Park ended with another race outside the points down in 23rd and only a 15th, 13th and 22nd at Croft saw Shedden suffer a mid season slump leaving him down in ninth in the standings and 52 points of the lead.
Once the summer break ended at Snetterton, Shedden returned back to his old self which saw him take his second win of the season in the third race of the day. Prior to this he had achieved a second in the first race and a tenth in the second, the first time that he had finished in the top 10 in all three races in 2016.
Shedden had another successful weekend at his home circuit Knockhill as he consistently racked up points, coming ninth twice and fourth in the final race of the day. Another strong Rockingham where he finished 1st in the first race, tenth in the second and second in the third race of the day propelled him up the standings. Race 1 at Silverstone saw the Scott only come 23rd after another puncture however another expert recovery drive saw him finish eighth in race 2. The reverse grid saw him take pole and a victory in the final race of the day
Since Croft, Shedden has been one of the highest scorers in the championship and sees himself in second place heading into the season finale at Brands Hatch this weekend, only 11 points behind pace setter Tordoff. The Scott will be reluctant to give up his crown without a fight and with so many other drivers in with a chance of winning the title, he could find himself in the perfect position.