The British Touring Car Championship makes its traditional annual pilgrimage to Knockhill in Fife this weekend, and Scot Gordon Shedden believes the home support will further boost his title hopes.
The 32-year-old from Dalgety Bay, bidding to become the first Scot to lift the title since Galashiels’ John Cleland in 1995, enters the weekend just eight points behind the Ford of championship leader Mat Jackson.
“There’s a long way to go, we’ve still 12 races to run, but I’m very happy and confident about where I am in the championship,” Shedden, who will again lead the Honda Racing Team, said yesterday.
“Hopefully I can manage to bag a few more points this weekend and keep up the pressure on the rest of the guys.”
The Scot may be just eight points adrift of Jackson, but the top four — including former champs, Shedden’s team-mate Matt Neal and Chevrolet’s Jason Plato — are all covered by just 20 points.
“No one driver is going to win the title at Knockhill this weekend, but they could easily lose it,” the Fifer, nicknamed ‘Flash’ by his team, continued.
And he has no doubt the 30,000-strong home support, which is expected at Knockhill on Sunday, will play a pivotal role in the outcome of this year’s championship.
“I don’t know if it’s because touring cars only comes to Scotland once a year, but I definitely know our Scots fans are the best, and loudest, in Britain,” he admitted.
“Thanks to the configuration of the 1.3-mile Knockhill circuit, the spectators get really close to the action and they really feel part of the race.
“Traditionally we get some of the best BTCC action of the year at Knockhill, and hopefully it’ll be the same this year.
“Having said that, I’ve only managed to win once here, so I think it’s about time I stood on the top step of the podium again and really gave the crowd something to cheer about.”