Honda and Halfords Yuasa Racing has announced three-time British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden has split from the team for 2018 and will be out of the series this year.

The triple BTCC champion will not contest the 2018 season after leaving the Honda squad having initially joined the team back in 2006, before briefly leaving in 2009, only to return a year later which sparked his era of dominance in the series.

Since 2010 Shedden has finished no lower than fourth in the BTCC drivers’ championship, winning the title in 2012, 2015 and 2016, with two runner-up campaigns in 2011 and 2013. The Scottish driver also marked an impressive partnership with fellow three-time BTCC champion Matt Neal but their team-mate double act will not continue into 2018.

“Today is a really difficult and emotional day for me,” Shedden said. “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. That success, along with Matt’s three championships, is a testament to the hard work, determination and passion that is intrinsic in the team. To Steve, Matt, [Technical Director] Barry Plowman and everyone at Team Dynamics I will be forever grateful, in particular my race engineer Eddie Hinckley, who has engineered my car since 2006.

“I am very lucky to have had such a successful partnership with the team, Honda and all our sponsors.  We have been on a huge journey together, achieving multiple Teams’, Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships. Along the way, we have had a lot of fun and created memories I will take and cherish forever. It may be the end of a chapter, but it won’t be the end of the friendships I have made.”

Neal has hinted at Shedden’s new career step as “a new and exciting opportunity” which he never wanted to hold the Scottish driver away from and feels it is the right decision for all parties. Shedden’s BTCC replacement is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

“Gordon is a part of our family and success story,” Neal said. “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.”