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BTCC champion Gordon Shedden targets Brands Hatch win

Friday, March 31 2017

Reigning Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden isn't ready to rest on his laurels and will be aiming for a storming start to his title defence at Brands Hatch this weekend (1/2 April).

Gordon's so motivated for the season that he's fairly blasé about being a three-time champion. "It's nice but it feels like a long time ago since October, it's good to go again," he said.

Whilst a strong start to the season would be ideal, the Scotsman has proven to be the comeback king over the last two seasons, coming from eighth in standings at last year's halfway point to retain the title in the final race. "I keep joking and saying that there must be an easier way to win titles," he laughed. "I've not made it particularly easy for myself the last couple of years, but we got the job done in the end, which is good. I'm a lot more balanced now, I can make the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

"It has been a phenomenal journey with Team Dynamics and Honda, and hopefully it continues for a long time yet, but we've had a lot of success together - that's probably a three-way thing between myself, [team-mate] Matt [Neal] and Dynamics."

Gordon starts this season in equal terms with Matt as both have three titles apiece, but he's not intending to let this disrupt the team's harmonious reputation. "It's business as usual," he said. "Work together and try and get the Civic going as good as possible and see where it leaves us. There's just so much competition up and down the pitlane now; it's a bit nuts, so I think it would be a brave person to bet on anybody winning this championship just now."

With half of the 32-car grid race winners, a third consecutive title will certainly be a tall order for the 38-year-old, who said: "It's pretty crazy, isn't it? When you have a look at the quality all the way through - from front to back there are very few weak links in the championship, probably fewer than ever.

"It's looking to be hundreds of seconds are going to make a huge difference [so] it's going to be important to get the job done in qualifying."

Gordon also expects new title challengers in addition to the five champions in the field. "It's difficult to tell," he said. "But there will be a few; you've got to look at Tom Ingram, Adam Morgan and Ash Sutton - all these guys are going to take a step up again. Obviously Mat Jackson I class as a champion anyway, so he'll be there."

For this weekend, Gordon is satisfied that the Brands Hatch Indy curse that dogged him in previous seasons has been put to bed, with two wins in the previous two seasons. "I have had a decent run around the Indy circuit, and I hope I can continue it this year," he said. It would be a great way to start the year on a positive note and see if we can keep pushing forwards."

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch on 1/2 April are available on the gate for £15 on Saturday on £34 on Sunday, with free entry for under-13s. For more information or to book, call 0843 453 9000 or click here.