Motorsport: Shedden’s title bid suffers hammer blow at Knockhill

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Two weeks after his Honda Racing Civic spectacularly went up in flames at Snetterton,

Gordon Shedden’s British Touring Car Championship hopes went up in smoke at Knockhill.

After finishing third in the opening two races of the triple-header behind the BMWs of Rob Collard and Tom Onslow-Cole, fast-charging Shedden was eyeing victory in race three.

The 33-year-old from Dalgety Bay had established a five-point lead over his Honda team-mate Matt Neal in the title fight, but just minutes after he started the race, disaster struck. Forced on to the grass to avoid an incident at the foot of the climb leading to the chicane, the ventilation ducts on his car became blocked. As the temperature of his car’s engine soared, he was forced into the pits. But as his crew pulled the clumps of grass from the front of his car and smoke began to billow from the engine bay, it was clear the damage was already terminal.

“Frustrating,” said Shedden, bidding to become the first Scot to win the BTCC title since Galashiels’ John Cleland in 1995.

“I don’t know what I have to do to open a decisive lead in the championship. It just seems every time I manage to get my nose in front in the championship race, fate deals me a hand which wrestles everything away from me.” Shedden now trails Neal by 10 points.