Gordon Shedden: “I know how much the first championship means”

Outgoing champion Gordon Shedden praised his successor Ash Sutton for holding his nerve to win the BTCC title in only his second year in the championship, saying it reminded him of how much it meant to win it himself for the first time.

Team Dynamics’ Shedden, who went into the Brands Hatch weekend with a mathematical chance of the title, formally dropped out of the running after Saturday’s qualifying session.

The Scotsman, who won his maiden title in tricky conditions at the Kent venue in 2012, warmly congratulated Sutton as he waited to collect the trophy in front of the podium.

Speaking to TouringCarTimes, Shedden said: “First of all, congratulations to Ash. Obviously Colin will be gutted but it is an exciting end from that point of view. I know how much the championship meant to me to win it the first time.

“It’s a rollercoaster in really tricky conditions, so fair play to him.

“We’ll come back fighting and stronger next year but now is about celebrating with Ash Sutton.”

During a year when many rival teams have openly criticised the championship regulations, triple champion Shedden has kept his counsel – a theme which continued when assessing his performance in 2017.

“I think we have done a good job this year, but one thing or another hasn’t been in our favour. When it’s so close, you just can’t make up for those shortcomings,” he said.

Shedden eventually finished fourth in the standings, just pipped to third by new independents champion Tom Ingram.