Thursday, October 18 2012
Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship leader Gordon Shedden will enter his third straight title fight at Brands Hatch this weekend (20/21 October). However this time he is leading the points standings and will start as favourite to lift the trophy for the first time.
Shedden also has the advantage of a healthy points lead over team mate Matt Neal, who beat him to the crown last year. But he is under threat from MG's Jason Plato, who has momentum on his side, having taken several pole positions and victories, most notably last time out at Silverstone. He's closed to within 15 points of Gordon's total - less than a win.
Nevertheless, Shedden isn't changing his approach in the final round: "It all depends on how we start - I want to see the relative pace of everyone and I'll try and score enough points in race three to secure the title. There are over 60 points to play for, plus this is Touring Cars. Getting a Honda across the line first is the key priority and it's been a cracking year so far, we just need to try and complete the job."
Shedden reveals that Honda has a simple strategy to beat Plato's charge: "Go faster! There should be a turnaround in boost for Brands as we were sacrificed at Silverstone. The chassis is fantastic and will be great on the Grand Prix circuit, so it should be a potent force."
There is one final element for Shedden, however, and this was brought into sharp focus at Silverstone. "You need lady luck," he revealed. "Somewhere along the line you need all the cards to fall into place. Who knows what will happen? You need luck, a great car and a great team. I have the last two, I just need luck."
Shedden has had his fair share of bad luck with electrical issues at Brands Hatch at the start of the year and at Snetterton, when his car caught fire and the earlier gremlins returned. But it's fair to say the same for Plato, who has retired from several races this year. One thing's for sure, Shedden's up for the challenge: "I think that in the last two years I've learnt a lot and tried to analyse it, improve and make things better. I go into the final round with the best preparation possible. All the ingredients are there."
Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship on 20/21 October are available from £25, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.