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BTCC Champion Shedden: “Oulton Park is one of my favourites”

Wednesday, June 05 2013

Reigning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden will be targeting wins at Oulton Park this weekend (8/9 June) after a steady start to his title defence. Despite some ill-fortune, the Scotsman is only 28 points behind team mate Matt Neal, who currently leads the standings.

"It could have been a little bit more plain sailing I guess," the champion said. "But it's the usual ups and downs of Touring Car racing. I think we're in a good place in terms of how the car's going and I'm pretty comfortable with what I've got. It's a long season and a lot can happen over 30 races, hopefully that's my bad luck out of the way and if we can get a cleaner run from now until the end I'm sure the others will have their ups and downs as well. You've only got to be in it to win it at round 30."

Gordon's frustrations came through at Thruxton when he crashed out after an altercation with rival Jason Plato. However he's calmed down since then: "That's just the passion of motor racing. It's done and dusted now, you can't change it, so we'll move on and we'll continue. I'm sure we'll have some epic battles as the season goes on."

It's all part of the 34-year-old's demeanour after securing his maiden title, following previous disappointments. "I think if anything it's probably made me more relaxed in terms of having clinched the championship last year," he admitted. "It's a long hard road ahead and I desperately want to retain the championship, it's a fantastic thing to do, but I'm under no illusions that the competition's tougher than ever from all sides of the pitlane, so I've got to be on top of my game as often as possible. I'm sure throughout everything that's happened in the first few rounds, it's clear to see that when I'm finishing, I'm finishing right at the top, which is what I need to do."

Gordon will also looking beyond his Civic and MG rivals at Oulton Park: "I think there's obviously a lot of people that can win races. But then you're also looking at Colin Turkington who seems to have turned a corner in race three at Donington, so there's a lot of competition from a lot of areas, the Toyotas, the Audis, there's a whole lot of different people can start winning races pretty quickly."

Nevertheless, the reigning champion heads to Cheshire with the aim of reasserting himself in the title race, with a little help from his championship position. "I go there relatively light in terms of championship ballast," he confided. "So I hope to be right at the sharp end in qualifying and be able to convert that into some really strong results, a big points scoring weekend. It's one of my favourite circuits on the calendar, it's an old school circuit, as I've always said that's the kind of circuits I enjoy. I guess you couldn't go and design a circuit like Oulton now from a blank piece of paper, its evolved from the natural undulation and that's the kind of circuit that I like."

Tickets for Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park on 8/9 June are available from £26, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.