Knockhill’s own Gordon Shedden is making his debut in the Spa 24-Hours race on the famous Belgium Grand Prix circuit at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend. We caught up with the BTCC racer in between qualifying in his CR Scuderia Ferrari F430GT.
Q. How are you getting along with the track, the team and the car? We know that this is your first Spa 24 Hours but do you have experience of racing at Spa?
Gordon: “I raced here about eight years ago in a Group C Jaguar. It was a lot of fun as this is a mega circuit and I managed to put the car on pole so I must have been doing something right. It’s a very long circuit and every lap is a learning curve but the team have all been incredibly supportive and I know we will be bang on it by the time the race starts. I’m definitely getting used to the Ferrari now; it’s a fantastic car and I only wish my touring car had an engine like that.”
Q. What are the main differences between touring car racing and GT racing?
G. “Well for this event especially the length of the race is completely different. The BTCC is all-action; it’s about hundredths of a second, every corner, every lap and every braking point. This is about getting the car to the end of the race. The spoils don’t necessarily go to the fastest car; it is the car and team who are there at the end in the same way as the Tortoise and the Hare fable. It’s a cliché but it’s true that you have to be in it to win it!
“Another difference is that touring cars is a huge team effort up until the point that the lights go green, then it’s all down to the drivers. GT racing is a team effort from beginning to end and every team member has a part to play in getting the cars to the chequered flag.”
Q. You are used to BTCC sprint races. Do you have any concerns about doing a 24-hour race?
G. “Not at all. I’ve raced in the dark before so that’s no problem and, being Scottish, I’m well used to racing in the rain. My fitness is good and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.”
Q. Do you want to do more GT racing in the future or are you happy doing what you do?
G. “To get the opportunity to race with CRS was a massive boost for me and I can’t wait to get out there are do the Spa 24 Hours. I love the BTCC and would love to be able to do that and GT racing so if there is a way to dovetail the two I would be a very happy man. My heart is in the BTCC but GTs are really starting to spark the fire!”