Motorsport: Shedden targets Knockhill lift

Fifer Gordon Shedden leads a strong Scottish assault at Knockhill this weekend as the British Touring Car Championship makes its annual visit to the Fife venue.

Around 50,000 spectators are expected to flock to the 1.3-mile circuit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BTCC at Knockhill.

Shedden, the 33-year-old from Dalgety Bay, heads into the weekend sitting second in the title race, just eight points behind his Honda Racing team-mate and championship leader Matt Neal.

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And Shedden, who would have led had his car not been disqualified for a technical failure after he finished third a fortnight ago at Snetterton, is most definitely fired up for the weekend.

“There’s no denying losing third at Snetterton was a big blow to my title hopes,” Shedden, already a six-time winner this season, said yesterday. “But we’ve regrouped and I’m ready to take the battle to Matt again, especially on my home circuit.

“The biggest problem I have is the I’ll be carrying the maximum ‘success’ ballast of 45kg, and round Knockhill that’s going to make life tough.

“It’s a massive weekend for everyone, not just at Knockhill, but for anyone with anything to do with motorsport in Scotland, and I’ll definitely be going for the wins.”

One of Shedden’s biggest rivals in the triple-header will be Inverness-based Dave Newsham. The Vauxhall driver collected his first career BTCC win at Snetterton.

“That’s given everyone in Team ES Racing a massive boost,” Newsham said. “We’re a small team, so to win a BTCC race is a big deal. I fancy my chances at Knockhill.”

In the other races which form part of the support package, Kirkcaldy’s 25-year-old Rory Butcher leads the Celtic Speed team in the well-named Porsche Carrera Cup.

And while Aberfoyle’s Charlie Robertson is gunning for wins in the Ginetta Juniors, Edinburgh brothers David and Tim Sleigh will be battling it out in the Celtic Speed Scottish Mini Cooper Championship.