Gordon Shedden has described his dramatic last gasp charge to a back-to-back British Touring Car Championship title as 'out of this world' after defeating Sam Tordoff in the deciding Brands Hatch race.
After looking all but down and out earlier in the season, Shedden successfully retained his 2015 crown, which has moved the Team Dynamics driver level with Matt Neal on three BTCC titles.
Shedden went into the final weekend 11 points back from West Surrey Racing's Tordoff but overhauled the long-time championship leader to eventually snatch the title away from the BMW driver by a mere two point margin.
In a roll reversal of last season, Shedden went into the decider as the hunter, rather than the prey, on the back of his third place finish in race two.
"There has to be an easier way, there has to be! I didn't expect to win it this weekend to be fair. Sam [Tordoff] has driven but I knew if I just chipped away I'd have a half a chance. The car was mint in the last race," said Shedden.
"I've tried to race forward all year and all day. I've made the moves and I've stuck my neck on the line because I needed every single one of those points in the end.
"It's just unbelievable. An incredible feeling to go back-to-back. It's out of this world."
With just two points separating the pair heading into the reverse grid finale, Shedden and Tordoff fought it out in a thrilling climax.
In typical Shedden fashion, the now triple champion sensed his opportunity following the first safety car phase and pounced on Tordoff with a decisive undercut move on the exit of the final corner.
However, it wasn't quite job done for Shedden thereafter as another late safety car period bunched the field back up, allowing Tordoff once last opportunity to wrestle the title back from Shedden, who also had his mirrors full of Adam Morgan in fourth.
"I passed Sam and the pace in the car was really good. He was sliding around a bit even before I passed him. I knew if I kept it steady and smooth, we'd be OK," Shedden continued.
"Obviously Adam Morgan had good pace so I could have done without him getting involved. Then the safety car happened. You're trying to keep everything warm without overheating anything to go for one final lap."
Acknowledging the part for which Tordoff played in this year's championship fight, Shedden was full of praise for his rival, who led such a large chunk of the campaign.
"He's driven well all year. It's hard to carry 75 kilos and he's carried it well. Even in the last race he was fair. We've had good, clean racing with him all year. His time will come and it won't be far away without any shadow of a doubt," said Shedden.
"I'm sure he'll probably go away from here tonight happy with what he's done this year and will have probably learned a lot as well. When he's back in this position again he'll be stronger."