Fifer Gordon Shedden aims to carry his race-winning form form Oulton Park into this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship triple-header at Knockhill.
The 29-year-old brought to an end his miserable run of fortune when he led from start-to-finish in the final race at the Cheshire circuit and now the Team Halfords leader is desperate to win again in front of his home supporters.
“There’s no denying Lady Luck hasn’t been shining on us this season,” Shedden, who was denied a double victory at Thruxton when punctures in successive races forced his Honda Civic into retirement, explained.
“We’ve had race-winning pace at every meeting but it seems every race weekend we’ve been hit by some form of technical gremlin or just sheer bad luck. Thruxton was a prime example.
“If I’d won those two races I’d have leapt to second in the championship. Instead the two punctures basically wrecked and finished our season, certainly as far was winning the title was concerned.
“But you’ve no idea how big a boost the win at Oulton has given the team. I’m not saying the boys were losing interest, but you could see the sparkle had gone. After the win though, everybody’s bouncing; we can’t wait to get back racing again.”
While the rest of the BTCC grid has enjoyed something of a midsummer break since Oulton, Shedden instead made his first appearance in a 24-hour race when he joined the CR Scuderia team at Spa in Belgium.
Driving a Ferrari F430GT alongside team boss Chris Niarchos and fellow Scot Andrew Kirkaldy, Shedden’s car narrowly missed out on a podium finish in its class.
“It was disappointing, but God was it a real buzz,” the Dalgety Bay racer continued. “You think touring cars is tough, but imagine racing for eight hours, trying to grab a few hours kip during the night, then waking up as the sun begins to rise and realise you’ve still got eight hours to race!
“Don’t get me wrong; it was tough. But it was utterly brilliant and I have to thank Chris and the guys for giving me the opportunity.”
While Shedden admits he’d happily dovetail a sportscar programme alongside his BTCC career if dates allowed, he knows he still has unfinished business in touring cars.
“What’s frustrating is that the car was fast enough to win the championship this year. Circumstances though combined to ensure that didn’t happen.
“What I have to make sure happens this weekend though is that we get on the podium again and ideally win races. I know this place like the back of my hand and having won here in the past I want to make sure we win again.
“It’s not going to be easy because there’s three very fast Vauxhall drivers, and the turbodiesel Seats are going to be tough to beat because they’ll have so much grunt coming out of the hairpin, but we know what we have to do.
“I set fastest lap in all three races here last year and set a new lap record, in addition to winning the third race. If we can repeat that, I’ll be a very, very happy guy.”