A tale of two hats for Shedden

Gordon Shedden makes a dramatic return to Knockhill this weekend off the back of some strong results last time out at Oulton Park. Shedden, a 3-time British Touring Car Champion made the switch back to the BTCC in 2021 following a two-year stint on the World stage in 2018 and 2019. 

A return to the series had been muted, ever since the Scotsman’s time in the AudiSport team came to an end. And, despite failing to secure a drive in 2020 it was odds on he’d return to the Championship in 21… but where.

Looking back on it all, it was fairly clear where Shedden felt he’d be best suited. Back in the team that he’d spent the majority of his BTCC racing career with – Team Dynamics – behind the wheel of the customary Honda machinery that has taken him to all three of his BTCC titles. The thought of Shedden racing for another team on the BTCC gird is pretty difficult to imagine, when you sit down and think about it.

That said, this week represents a significant one for Shedden, who’ll be especially keen to make sure everything goes to plan, including his racing. On one hand, he’ll be keen to ensure that Knockhill maximises the commercial benefits of hosting such a prestigious event this week, not just because of the role he has at the track, but for his wife Jillian, who has had to steer the Circuit through some troubling times throughout the pandemic. There will likely be a massive sigh of relief on both their parts when the gates to Knockhill are thrown open on Saturday morning and masses of fans begin to arrive for the first time in almost 2 years.  

But secondly, Shedden has come back into the Championship with one goal in mind – to win his fourth BTCC crown. Make no mistake… he’s not here to make up the numbers… he’s here to win. His return to the series has been an exciting one and perhaps a luckless one at times. However, good results at Oulton Park have thrown him back into the Championship hunt, and with his home turf up next, he’ll be as eager as ever to make his local knowledge count come Sunday evening.

The BTCC grid will get their first laps of Knockhill on Saturday when they roll out for the first session of the weekend, FP1 at 9:30am. Collectively, there is a sense of agreement up and down the grid that this is one of the most competitive years the series has ever seen and pinpointing the winners of the three BTCC races this weekend at Knockhill is a thankless task.

On one hand, there are slight advantages for the rear-wheel drive cars, but as Shedden eludes too in his interview, there are points on the track that will benefit the characteristics of the front wheel drive machinery – it’s just a case of who maximises their advantage better than others. What is undeniable however, we are all in for an amazing weekend of racing at the Lokring UK sponsored event in association with Cataclean – supported by EventScotland.

Just who comes out on top… is anyone’s guess.

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