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Shedden: We have to target a clean sweep
27 January 2011
Gordon Shedden insists the only aim for the Honda Racing team can be a clean sweep of championship honours in the 2011 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.
Shedden and team-mate Matt Neal helped the Team Dynamics-run outfit to secure the constructors' and teams' titles last year, although the pair were beaten to the drivers' championship crown by the Chevrolet of Jason Plato.
However, the pair will go into the new season hoping to benefit from Honda's decision to fit an NGTC-spec turbo engine into the Civic and Shedden insisted that victory on all fronts had to be the aim for the year ahead.
“We won pretty much everything there was to win last year aside from the drivers' championship, so we want a clean sweep this year if possible,” he said. “But it will be tough and there is a lot of racing to get through before we get to the final round of the year.
“We will have to beat the usual suspects, but there are also some unknowns thrown into the mix as well. The new NGTC car is an unknown quantity as we've only seen it do half an hour of running at Brands Hatch so we need to see where the performance of that car lies, but I'm sure Alan Gow will make sure that car becomes competitive and it brings more people to the party.”
With the Civic already regarded as one of the best handling cars on the grid, Shedden added that he was confident that the turbo engine would ensure it remained at the sharp end of the grid during the year ahead.
“From the outset, the Civic was one of – if not the – best handling car on the grid last year and the way the rules went with the turbo engine meant we couldn't compete in a straight line; but that was our only weakness,” he said. “That was rules related rather than us related.
“Obviously we are hoping for more power [this year] although I don't think it will be masses. We'll take what we get with both hands but we have plenty of pre-season testing planned and will make sure we are in a position to hit the ground running at Brands Hatch.”
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