Gordon Shedden is predicting this weekend's British Touring Car Championship round at Oulton Park to be the toughest of the season, compounded by the added success ballast weight his Honda Yuasa Racing Civic Type R will be carrying.

The current championship leader enjoyed an excellent race weekend last time out at Thruxton - claiming a win, a third and a fifth place - to give himself an eight point advantage in the BTCC drivers' standings.

Due to BTCC rules, the 2012 BTCC champion will be loaded with a 75kg success ballast at the Cheshire track which he believes will make his task much harder.

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"It's going to be tough to begin with at Oulton by virtue of the nature of the circuit," Shedden said. "It's very much a stop-start layout, which is not an ideal match for carrying 75kg of ballast - it will be the hardest qualifying session to-date for the championship leader.

"We'll need to be absolutely spot-on to maximise our potential as it's notoriously difficult to overtake there. Leading the championship is a bit of a double-edged sword in that respect."

Despite the challenges facing the Honda Yuasa Racing driver at Oulton Park he says he prefers to be leading from the front rather than playing catch up and is confident he will be able to catch out his rivals over the course of the race weekend.

"I'd rather have the points already banked than have to fight for them and we'll just have to try to make up ground as the weekend goes on," he added. "Everybody loves Oulton Park - there's a cracking crowd, a fantastic festival atmosphere and we always look forward to going there, and this year will be no different."