'Overweight' Shedden eyes points haul 12 | 08 | 2017

    SCOTLAND’S 'OVERWEIGHT' GORDON SHEDDEN admits he’s ready to “grind out” a result as he bids to extend his lead in the British Touring Car Championship when it makes its annual visit to Knockhill this weekend. (Related: Rory Butcher BTCC interview)

    The 38-year-old from Auchterarder, bidding to win the title for a fourth time, and third in succession, takes a slender two-point lead into tomorrow’s three races.

    But the Scot starts on the back foot, with his all-conquering Honda Civic carrying an extra 75kg success ballast into today’s qualifying, and the opening race of three on Sunday. (Related: Q&A with BTCC champ Gordon Shedden)

    “It’s certainly not ideal, but we need to make the best we can with what we have,” Shedden, who won last time out at Snetterton, to record his third win of the season, said.

    At the Norfolk circuit, again carrying 75kg, Shedden struggled to qualify a distant 21st for race one, but improved throughout Sunday to eventually win the day’s final race. (Related: Shedden wins Snetterton finale)

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    “I think this weekend will be about grinding out the perfect result,” he continued. “It’s something we’ve got used to doing over the years.

    “The win at Snetterton could prove crucial in the battle for the title. I’m a great believer that championships are won because of the points you score on difficult weekend. And Snetterton was definitely difficult.

    “I know we’re going to be in for a real battle at Knockhill this weekend. The BMWs of Colin Turkington and Rob Collard always perform well at Knockhill, and I expect Ash Sutton’s Subaru to be right on the pace too. Plus there are five or six others who can all win.

    “But I’ll be doing everything I can to make sure I give the thousands of Scottish fans something to cheer about by at least getting on the podium.”

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    And while Dalkeith’s Aiden Moffat returns with his Mercedes to the circuit where he made his BTCC debut as a 16-year-old in 2013, Shedden’s brother-in-law, Rory Butcher (pictured above), will race for the first time in Europe’s top tiptop championship

    The 30-year-old from Kirkcaldy will drive the Motorbase-prepared Ford Focus for the first time in BTCC action in this morning’s opening free practice.

    “It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but I’m definitely up for it,” Butcher, who has previously competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup and British GT Championship, said.

    “Gordon’s given me some advice, and essentially told me to make sure I get my elbows out, because the action will be fierce. But I’m up for the fight, and can’t wait for the opening race.”

    Related: Video — BTCC banter with Shedden and Butcher

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    Jim McGill

     

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