Shedden wins: Moffat on podiumposted in BTCC23 | 08 | 2015

    A FORTNIGHT AFTER suffering the "worst race weekend of his career," Fifer Gordon Shedden (pictured) catapulted himself back into contention for the British Touring Car Championship with a win at Knockhill.

    After scoring just three championship points a fortnight ago at Snetterton, the 36-year-old from Dalgety Bay arrived at Knockhill trailing Jason Plato by 32 points in the battle for the title.

    But after finishing fifth in today's opener — won by the BMW of Rob Collard — the 2012 champ dominated the day's second race in his Honda to win at Knockhill for the first time since 2011, and record the 40th BTCC win of his career and third of the season.

    "This feels really special," Shedden, who heads to the next round at Rockingham having closed the gap to Plato to just 11 points, said. "It's brilliant.

    "It feels like such a long time since I've been on the top step of the podium at any race, but to win in Scotland, in front of my home fans and support, is great."

    Related: Shedden targeting Knockhill win

    And after finishing eighth in the day's finale — when he started 10th on the reverse grid — the Scot emphasised he's determined to win his second BTCC title to match that of veteran John Cleland. The former Vauxhall driver was at Knockhill to mark the 20th anniversary of his last title in 1995.

    "Yeh, John was the guy who inspired me to race in the BTCC," Shedden, whose Honda team-mate Matt Neal won the third race," continued, "and I want to win a second title like him.

    "We've got nine races still to go, and there's going to be a lot of tight, close racing over those three race weekends in the championship.

    "But I've eased myself back into the title race. The main thing is to be in the mix when we go to Brands Hatch for the final meeting in October."

    While Shedden celebrated, there was mixed fortunes for the two other Scots on the grid, Dalkeith's Aiden Moffat and Derek Palmer from Lesmahagow.

    Palmer, debuting his Support Our Paras Racing Infiniti at Knockhill, was twice punted off the circuit, first by the Toyota of Stewart Lines and then by Robb Holland in another Toyota.

    In the final race, he was forced to pull his car off the track with technical problems.

    "A weekend to forget really," Palmer, who a fortnight ago had recorded his best finish, 15th at Snetterton, said. Moffat meanwhile was delighted.

    After finishing ninth in the second race, the 18-year-old initially appeared to miss out on a debut podium when he brought his Mercedes home fourth in the final race. But hours later he was awarded the podium after third-placed Andy Priaulx was handed a 3.5sec penalty for overtaking Moffat under a yellow flag.

    "I feel brilliant, but really it's mixed emotions," Moffat — who was only passed fit enough to race on Friday after suffering concussion at Snetterton — admitted after being handed the podium and scoring the best finish of his career.

    "I was hoping for a podium and mid-race I thought I could get it. And obviously when I crossed the line it looked as though I'd missed out. But to now be handed the podium is thrilling.

    "Obviously it's disappointing not to have been able to celebrate on the podium, especially in front of our home crowd plus the team, family and friends at Knockhill, but it's a massive boost for the our family-run team.

    "To do it anywhere would have been special, but to do it at Knockhill, two years after I made my BTCC debut here, is really special and just adds to the experience."

    Related: Palmer and Paras back Scots road safety initiative

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    Jim McGill


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