Gordon Shedden is leaving the BTCC.
Having won 48 races and been champion three times, “Flash” as he is better known, is one of the most successful drivers in the championship’s history.
But now he’s done everything there is in the top-flight in Britain, there is a possibility he’ll be taking his talents further afield. He raced in the final round of the TCR International Series last year, taking pole and finishing second in the race one. So he might use that as a springboard to find a seat in an international series.
Whatever he does next the 38-year-old Scot leaves a very large hole in the Honda works effort, with the team needing to find a replacement. He also leaves with an equally large legacy in BTCC folklore.
He arrived in the BTCC as a fresh-faced 22-year-old who’d only just started shaving and drove a Production Class Ford at his home track, Knockhill, in 2001. But this was a one-off and he returned on a more permanent basis in 2006, driving as he always has since, for Team Dynamics, which then became Honda’s factory team.
He took a bit of time to find his feet but once he did he cemented authority as the best driver in the series, in my opinion. Apart from last year he finished in the top three overall in every season this decade, even in 2014 when he was equipped with the Civic Tourer (enough said there). He won his first title in 2012 and then did the rare thing these days of winning back-to-back titles in 2015 and 2016.
Of his exit Shedden said: “Today is a really difficult and emotional day for me. I can confirm I will not be competing in the British Touring Car Championship in 2018, which obviously means I will not be racing with Honda and Team Dynamics. They have been part of my life for the last 11 years and I have been made to feel a part of the family.”
“Steve and Matt Neal gave me a chance in 2006, and we haven’t looked back since. From a Fiesta racer to a triple British Touring Car Champion, I could not have dreamed of the success we have achieved together.”
His long-time teammate Neal paid tribute: “Gordon is a part of our family and success story. He’s got a new and exciting opportunity and we would never hold him back from that. We wish him the very best of success in his new challenge – he’s a phenomenal competitor and he’s certainly talented enough! One thing is for sure – despite ‘Flash’ racing elsewhere this season, he’ll always remain part of our Dynamics family and part of our team.”
So long Flash, and thanks.