Fifer Gordon Shedden proved his new Honda will be a force to be reckoned with in this year’s British Touring Car Championship when he finished second-fastest in the official pre-season test at Brands Hatch.
“I think that’s given the rest of the guys something to think about,” the 30-year-old from Dalgety Bay said today after parking his Team Honda racer at the Kent circuit.
“We knew we were going to be quick, but considering this is the first time this car’s been on the track, it’s great. The car was in a million bits a few days ago and the guys just finished building it last night.”
Shedden, who joined the other 22 drivers who will make up the grid of the championship, set a fastest time of 48.817secs, just 0.155s slower than the Chevrolet of former champ Jason Plato.
And Shedden, who will partner double BTCC champ Matt Neal — fifth-fastest with a best of 48.930s — in the new works-backed Team Honda, is determined to add to his 10 BTCC victories.
“It’s fantastic to have such a competitive car and team for 2010,” the Knockhill business development manager continued. “The Swindon-built Civic is a well-proven package and we now know we’re going to be quick. We’ll be pushing for race wins right from the start of the season.
“But it’s going to be tough. Despite the recession, we’ve a bumper 23-car grid for this season with seven manufacturers and nine different models of car, plus former champions like Matt and Jason. The front of the grid is going to be hugely competitive. I think we’re in for a hell of a year. ”
Shedden, whose Honda will be run by Team Dynamics, is the only Scot on this year’s grid. Kirkcaldy’s Jonathan Adam, who raced with the Motorbase BMW team last year, has been replaced by England’s Steven Kane.
The season — which again will see all 10 rounds televised live on ITV4 — gets underway at Thruxton on April 4, with the Scottish round taking place at Knockhill on September 5.