Gordon Shedden will finally get his chance to make a mark on the BTCC in 2006. The Scottish racer has secured the second seat at reigning champions, Team Halfords. We caught up with him at Brands Hatch.
“It’s a big step for me”, said Shedden. “You’re racing at the top of the tree, but at least I’ve shown that I can be competitive. Yeah, I’ve still got a bit to learn, and a bit to find in the car, but we’re not a million miles away, which is a decent start.”
Shedden’s only previous BTCC experience was a one-off race in the Production Class in 2001, when he drove a GR Motorsport Ford Focus at Knockhill. However, he is not phased by the pressure of joining such a successful outfit for 2006:
“Obviously, it’s an established team. It’s a team that won the championship last year. The expectation is high. The flipside is that it’s brilliant to have a teammate that I can learn so much from. You’ve got to learn so fast in this game though, because as soon as you’re not absolutely there, everybody starts picking holes in what you’re doing really, really quickly.”
Shedden’s deal, which sees Clydesdale Bank join the Team Dynamics fold, was only finalised in the weeks just before the series launch, which means the Scot’s time in the car has been limited: “It would have been great to have been testing for the last four months, but it is what it is and I just have to do the best I can.”
“What an opportunity though. Luckiest boy on Earth. You know, to jump right in to one of the plum seats in touring cars…great team, great car, what an opportunity, that’s all I can say. I’m just really looking forward to getting going now.”
At the wheel of a proven race and championship-winning car, expectations will be high throughout the season. Indeed, Shedden himself is setting his sights high: “For me, the benchmark has to be Matt. Obviously, he’s my teammate, he’s in the same car, and what a great teammate to have. Whether I get there or not, we’ll have to wait and see, but hopefully over the course of the season I’ll be able to make steady progress, improve and take any opportunities I may get.”