‘Flash Gordon’ is new touring car champion

Fifer Gordon Shedden celebrates his first British Touring Car Championship 2012.
Fifer Gordon Shedden celebrates his first British Touring Car Championship 2012.
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FIFER Gordon Shedden lit up a gloomy Brands Hatch as he was crowned British Touring Car champion for the first time.

The 33-year-old from Dalgety Bay clinched the title in treacherous conditions by finishing runner up in the second race, which secured first place on the leader board ahead of Honda team mate and 2011 champ, Matt Neal.

Shedden, who narrowly missed out to Neal in last year’s series, finished 15 points ahead of the runner-up, having secured eight victories overall.

Now the man nicknamed Flash Gordon, has been tipped to go on and more titles to his name by Honda team boss Steve Neal. “It’ll just give him that little bit of extra confidence he needs,” he said.

“It’s finally broken that bogey that the finale seemed to hit him with last year.

Worthy

“He’s going to win several other championships I’m sure, whether in the BTCC or elsewhere. Without question he’s a worthy champion.”

Shedden, the first Scot to take the crown since John Cleland triumphed for Vauxhall in 1995, began the weekend leading the championship by 15 points ahead of double champ Jason Plato, and 31 points ahead of Neal. Race One went to Neal, with Shedden finishing fifth, but crucially he finished ahead of Plato in eighth and so stayed at the top of the championship with a reduced lead. 

But it was the second race which saw the Scot drive to glory.

Early on Tom Onslow-Cole jumped into the lead with Matt Neal’s Honda battling for second.

Shedden was just behind Rob Collard when a collision forced Collard to retire.

Restart

Aron Smith led at the second restart, while Shedden closed on third placed Neal.

The Scot made it by at Clearways and set off after Smith and Onslow-Cole.

Having got to third, a spin-off by Onslow-Cole at Surtees handed Shedden second.

He elected not to challenge leader Aron Smith.

With Neal third and Plato only managing to finish fifth, Shedden’s points total had secured him victory, his crew telling him via his in-car radio.

In the third and final race Shedden drove to third, with Neal grabbing second place overall, Plato again failing to perform.

But it was Shedden’s day, celebrating in the rain by performing a Usain Bolt lightning pose on the roof of his car, and proclaiming it to be a boyhood dream come true.