Interview : Shedden going for back-to-back BTCC titles in 2013
Fri 22nd March 2013 He claimed his first BTCC title in 2012 and now Honda Yuasa Racing's Gordon Shedden has his sights set on retaining the crown.
By Matt Lamprell
"I've got as good a chance as anyone else", said Shedden when asked about his chances in the 2013 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
"The Honda Civic was absolutely superb last year and I know we've spent the guts of the winter working really hard trying to improve it. There are a lot of new cars on the grid, but I fully intend to be right up the sharp end."
Shedden clinched the 2012 title at the final round of the championship at Brands Hatch last October, ahead of teammate Matt Neal. Shedden's title was part of a clean sweep for Honda, who also won the Manufacturers' and Independents' championships in 2012.
Shedden added, "It was a dream come true to win the title at Brands last year. It's what I've worked towards in all my time in motor racing. But time moves on. The determination is there to do it again. I want to win this thing as many times as possible."
With just over a week between the 2013 BTCC media launch at Donington Park and the opening races at Brands Hatch, there's not going to be much more time for testing. It was a Honda that topped the times at Donington – albeit the independent Civic driven by Andrew Jordan – does that mean that Shedden and co. are again the ones to beat?
"It's going to be interesting to go to Brands and get the season started. If you look up the pitlane, there's going to be a lot of competition, but hopefully we've taken enough of a step forward to stay at the sharp end.
"The weather's been quite tricky ahead of the season, so testing hasn't been easy, but it's the same for everyone."
The last two seasons have started badly for Shedden, with mechanical problems last year and a heavy crash in 2011. He's hoping for a more positive start to the 2013 season.
"I'm not really famous for having a strong opening weekend so I'll be happy to get through the Brands weekend with some decent points on the board. That should set us up well for the year ahead."