Gordon Shedden, the newly crowned British Touring Car champion, is a Scottish racing driver who currently races for the Honda Yuasa Racing Team. After finishing third in 2010 and second in 2011, Shedden eventually won the championship after a showdown with team-mate Matt Neal, and Jason Plato on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. This week’s Scrutineering takes a look back on Shedden’s career, his season and what the fans think and have to say about him!
Pre-BTCC (1996 – 2000, 2003 – 2005)
In 1996 Shedden started karting in the Scottish KTM championship, winning it in 1997. He then raced in the Ford Fiesta Championship in 1999, going on to win it in 2000 – becoming champion with nine wins. In 2003 Shedden took part in the inaugural SEAT Cupra Championship winning a race at Oulton Park and finishing on the podium at every circuit – Croft, Silverstone, Rockingham and Thruxton – visited in the championship. He finished the season in second, behind Rob Huff. In 2004 he dropped to fourth in the championship, with a win at his home circuit of Knockhill, and podiums at Brands Hatch, Oulton Park and Donington. Shedden made a one off appearance in the 2005 Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain, once again racing at Knockhill, where he is Business Development Manager.
British Touring Car Championship (2001, 2006 – present)
In 2001 Shedden made a one-off BTCC appearance in the Production class for GR Motorsport at Knockhill. He started racing in the championship full time from 2006 when he was signed up by Team Halfords to partner Matt Neal. That year he won four races, was on the podium on six other occasions and had eight fastest laps – finishing the season in fourth place while his team-mate was crowned champion. Shedden remained with the team for 2007 where he won four more races, six additional podiums, and six fastest laps. He ended the year five points clear of Neal and third in the overall championship. A third season with the team in 2008, this time as team leader after Neal left, yielded a further two wins, two podium finishes and a fastest lap.
In 2009 it was all change for Shedden, leaving Team Dynamics after appearing for them at Brands Hatch. He returned to the BTCC with Cartridge World Carbon Zero Racing at Snetterton, driving a SEAT Leon. He finished on the podium in front of his home crowd at Knockhill but that was his only podium of the season.
For 2010 Shedden reunited with Team Dynamics and Matt Neal under the Honda Racing banner and during that season he had four wins, seven other podiums and four fastest laps. He finished the year third overall and combined with Neal’s second place the team were able to secure both the Manufacturer/Constructor championship and the Team championship. In 2011 Shedden went one better, ending up second overall to Neal by just eight points and with six wins, seven other podiums and two fastest laps.
2012 proved to be Shedden’s year, although he did not have the best of starts. After a disappointing Brands Hatch he came back and finished on the podium for all three races at Donington, which included two wins. Through the year he won eight times – the most of anybody – and equalled Plato on 16 podiums. He also took the most fastest laps with a total of eight for the year. He went into the final round of the year, once again at Brands Hatch, leading the way and picked up enough points in race two to ensure he became champion. He is the first Scot to take the honours since John Cleland in 1995. In the end Shedden had a significant 21 point lead over Neal with a further 22 on Plato.
BTCC career statistics
(not including two Production class races)
Pole positions: 8
Fastest laps: 29
What the fans say and like about him!
- A good character in the paddock
- One of the cleaner (therefore better) drivers
- The fact he enjoys equal status in the team with Matt Neal, and they obviously get on very well – a rarity in motorsport to see team-mates be such good friends
- Seems popular amongst other drivers in the paddock
- Doesn’t have an ego – very down to earth – he seems to be a good guy
- Likeable in interviews
- I am happy he finally won the title after coming close in 2011
- He is ever present – winning races and fighting at the front – long may this continue!
- Removing loose bodywork at Snetterton – what skill!
- This save at Rockingham!