Defending BTCC title holder Gordon Shedden will look to join an elite club of drivers this year, if he is successful in once again being crowned champion come the end of the season.
Shedden once again partners fellow triple-champion Matt Neal at Halfords Yuasa Racing this year with the race to win the illusive fourth now hotting up.
In winning a fourth title in 2o17, either driver that prevails will tie Andy Rouse’s long-standing record of four drivers’ championships in the series – a record that has stood since Rouse last triumphed in 1985.
Along with Rouse’s all-time record, Shedden also has the opportunity to become the fourth driver in BTCC history to win three consecutive titles. Bill McGovern (1970, 1971 & 1972), Win Percy (1980, 1981 & 1982) and Rouse (1983, 1984 & 1985) are the only drivers to have achieved to have achieved the feat so far.
In a position to the same, the Type R driver is fully prepared for another titanic battle to stay on top of the touring car mountain this year.
Speaking at the official press conference on Thursday, Shedden said: “It has been a fantastic winter but the day after Brands Hatch GP last year it was all done and dusted. The focus immediately switches to the next season on the Monday and working out what we need to do to ensure we can do it all again the following year.
“We have been out testing in recent weeks, working through a programme and getting on top of the new tyres – we can’t stand still because the game is constantly changing and everyone is moving forward.
“Of course the aim is to win the championship once again but as we saw last year it isn’t going to be easy and there will be the usual twist and turns throughout.
With a 32-strong grid confirmed for the forthcoming season, the Scotsman is optimistic that consistency may be on Honda’s side.
“It is as exciting as ever,” he said. “It appears to be russian roulette with drivers in different teams and cars this year. Keeping the continuity of the team with both me and Matt could play into our hands.
“This is either our eighth or ninth successive season together, which is quite unheard of when you see the changes that happen year-on-year. We know how each other works and it is a proven package, if it isn’t broke then don’t fix it!”
Shedden completed a total of 51 laps during the official pre-season test at Donington Park on Thursday (16th March) and finished the day in P11 after setting a best time of 1:10.760.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jakob Ebrey Photography