Misery for Shedden at Rockinghamposted in BTCC27 | 08 | 2017

    DEFENDING CHAMP GORDON SHEDDEN suffered a disastrous weekend in the latest round of the British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham. Having entered the weekend 12 points off the championship lead, he left trailing the Subaru of leader Ash Sutton by 47 points. (Related: Champ Shedden bags Knockhill BTCC podium)

    “We always knew Rockingham as going to be tough, because of the success ballast we had to carry in the car, and that impacted in both qualifying and race one when we very clearly struggled for speed, which was frustrating,” the 38-year-old from Auchterarder admitted.

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    After struggling to only qualify 16th for today’s opening race, Shedden’s weekend show it was likely to get only tougher when his Honda suffered a front-right puncture on lap 11 of the scheduled 16.  After nursing the car back to the pits, he returned to cross the line a distant P30, and out of the points.

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    Worse though was to come in Race 2. Starting from 30th on the 32-car grid, he was forced to retire after contact with the Toyota of Rob Austin. Shedden had ducked down the inside of the Toyota as the pair went through the tight left-hand hairpin, but Austin then cut across the front of the Honda. The impact destroyed the Honda’s front suspension.

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    Starting P31 in the day’s finale, Shedden battled through to finish 12th. The Scot’s points haul for the weekend was a paltry four, compared to the 51 harvested by Sutton. The 23-year-old from Essex won Race 2 — his sixth victory of the season — having finished second behind his Subaru team-mate James Cole in the opener. Andrew Jordan won the day’s finale in his BMW.

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    “It’s certainly made the challenge of winning a  fourth BTCC title that bit more difficult with only Silverstone and Brands Hatch remaining,” Shedden admitted.

    “We were coming through the pack in race two until the contact, which damaged the suspension, and we did our best in race three, but it was always going to be a tall order to get much further up the field than we did.

    “We’ve lost some ground in the championship here and it’s fair to say the situation is not looking particularly rosy right now.

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    “But as everybody knows, the BTCC can turn on a sixpence and nothing is over yet, so we will keep on fighting to the very end.”

    It was a tough weekend too for the other two Scots in the championship. Dalkeith 20-year-old brought his Mercedes home in 19th, 18th and 14th positions, while 30-year-old Rory Butcher finished 25th, 21st and 19th in his Motorbase Ford Focus after the steering of his car was bent in the opening race.

    Related: Lewis Hamilton dominates Belgian GP

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    Jim McGill

     

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