Gordon Shedden was left disappointed with his home rounds of the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship after missing out on a potential podium finish on home soil at Knockhill.
The Team Halfords driver went into the weekend looking to try and repeat his win from twelve months ago but a gamble ahead of qualifying failed to pay off for the Scot when he was only able to qualify tenth on the grid at the wheel of his Honda Civic.
However, Shedden was on the pace when the opening race kicked up and gradually battled his way up the order to take the flag in fourth place; a result he then repeated in the second race.
That left Shedden sixth on the grid for the final race when the reverse grid draw took place, with the orange Honda climbing into fourth once again within two laps of the start. Shedden then found himself under immense pressure from former team-mate Matt Neal but having survived a number of taps from the Vauxhall, he was forced off at Carlube on lap 21 when Colin Turkington tried to force his way inside Neal and pushed the double champion into the side of Shedden.
That dropped the Scot down the order and while he managed to bring the car home to the finish, he was left disappointed with eighth place.
"At the start of the weekend we took a gamble in qualifying to try and get pole ahead of the turbo cars but it didn't pay off," he told Crash.net
. "We didn't expect to be down in tenth which made it tough, but it was good to come through to fourth in race one and get good points from tenth and then I held station in race two.
"The car was better in race three but there was a lot of contact out there and it is a tough one to bear when you get shovelled off. If that's the way, it is then fine, but it isn't how I like to race.
"Colin had nowhere to go, so where was he planning to go? I was on the inside on the white line, Matt was on the inside on the white line so Colin decides to go 30mph quicker into the corner. I don't think so mate. He had nowhere to go and all he was trying to do was cause chaos and get through himself which isn't on. Then a bit later on I've been shovelled wide at the hairpin by Matt as well. Like I say, if proper shovelling is allowed then it's fair enough and I'm quite happy with that, but you should be able to pass cleaner than that I think."
Shedden will now look to rebound from the disappointment in the next round at Silverstone, but with the diesel-powered SEATs continuing to show impressive pace, he admitted it would be tough to challenge for victories at a circuit that should play to the strength of the Leon TDi.
"The diesel is in its own little race," he said. "In race two, Darren was five miles an hour quicker than me at the start/finish line and that's only a stretch of something like 400 yards from the Hairpin. If he gains half a second there, then you are on a hiding to nothing, but they have built their cars to the rules and that is that. We just have to work hard to try and peg them back.
"Here at Knockhill there are two medium length straights but at Silverstone there are three long straights so I think they'll sail off into the distance. We are out there to do our own job and the Honda Civic is a bloody good car but the SEAT is so strong in a straight line – it's something else at the moment. I'm not sure how we'll peg them back at Silverstone but we're going to give it a damn good go."