09 April 2018

Top-five for Gordon Shedden on World Touring Car debut

BTCC star makes successful debut in the brand-new FIA Cup

Gordon Shedden finished fifth in his first outing in the FIA World Touring Car Cup in Morocco, hailing a successful opening weekend for the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team on the world stage.

The Auchterarder-based driver qualified inside the top ten on his WTCR debut in the new Audi RS 3 LMS, adjusting to the tricky Marrakech street circuit, the first time he’s raced at a street track in more than a decade.

Shedden made a great start in his Audi and went on to put on a steady performance in the first race on Saturday to finish in fifth in a race filled with top-level touring car stars, just five seconds from race winner, touring car legend Gabriele Tarquini.

A close qualifying session nearly saw Shedden land the reversed grid pole position but missed out by just 84-thousandths of a second, which relegated him to 11th on the grid for both of Sunday afternoon’s races.

At the circuit where it’s notoriously difficult to pass, Shedden went on to finish where he qualified in Race 2, while a developing brake problem saw him retire from Race 3, narrowly avoiding contact with the Cupra of Pepe Oriola.

Shedden leaves Morocco 12th in the drivers’ standings, scoring strong points which have ensured the Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team head to the next race in Hungary third in the teams’ table.

Gordon Shedden said:

“It was a really positive weekend. I was comfortable in Saturday’s race in fifth. The pace was great, and it felt where the car should have been. On true pace, we didn’t have a top four car here, but we’re just in that mix behind. That we just missed out on the reversed grid meant it was always going to be difficult.

“It’d been a totally different day if we’d just found a quarter of a tenth of a second in Q2, as the car was quite fast. In the second race I was just stuck in a queue with nowhere to go, and then in Race 3, we just had brake problems all the way through.”

“To score points on my debut is really good; the car’s back in one piece and the potential’s really there. It’s going to be good to see how we go in Hungary, which is a very different track to Morocco.”