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Shedden seeks home advantage at Knockhill

The British Touring Car Championship, the fastest saloon-car series in Britain, roars into action at Knockhill this weekend and one Scot who is determined to give home supporters something to cheer about is Gordon Shedden.

The 35-year-old from Dalgety Bay, who won the title in 2012, has this year swapped his Honda Civic hatchback for a Civic estate and the change has not dulled Shedden's level of performance. Indeed he heads into Sunday's triple-header at the Fife circuit just 23 points off the pace in the championship, with the former Knockhill race instructor Colin Turkington leading the way.

Shedden has acknowledged that he has an opportunity to close the gap on his closest rival this weekend as the Irishman has incurred an eight-place grid penalty following a clash last time out at Snetterton.

"It's unfortunate that Colin has to serve a penalty, but I have to make sure I use his misfortune to my maximum advantage," said Shedden. "Qualifying at any race weekend is important, but for me it's crucial I qualify well on Saturday. I have to make sure we're on pole, or at least on the front row."

Shedden, one of four Scots on the BTCC grid - Dalkeith's Aidan Moffat, Glynn Geddie from Aberdeen and Inverness-based Dave Newsham are his compatriots - is hoping for better luck than he had 12 months ago.

"Last year I came into the Knock­hill meeting 22 points off the lead, finished second and third in the opening two races, then was forced to retire from the third race when my car went up in flames," he recalled. "It proved costly because at the end of the season I missed out on the championship by just seven points.

"It shows just how important finishing every race in the points is. So far this season I've managed to finish in the points in all the races, won twice [at Donington and Thruxton] and been on the podium on seven other occasions. I'll be doing everything I can to give the crowd something to cheer."

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