AUTOSPORT Awards: Gordon Shedden wins National Driver of the Year
|By Sam Tremayne||Sunday, December 2nd 2012, 21:14 GMT|
Gordon Shedden has been named National Driver of the Year at the AUTOSPORT Awards in London.
Shedden, who claimed his breakthrough British Touring Car Championship crown this year, fended off season-long rivals Matt Neal and Jason Plato, plus British Formula 3 champion Jack Harvey and British Rally champion Keith Cronin, to win the Paul Warwick Trophy.
Shedden, who received his award from Sir Jackie Stewart, said: "I came so close last year but yet ended up so far away. Matt winning the title was great for him, but it really put the fire in me to win the BTCC this year.
"To be up there with Jim Clark and John Cleland as the only Scots to have won the BTCC is pretty special."
Click here for AUTOSPORT's full review of Gordon Shedden's BTCC title win
After narrowly missing out to Honda team-mate Neal in 2011, Shedden, 33, sealed this year's crown by claiming eight wins and 16 podiums in his Team Dynamics-run works Honda Civic.
His campaign had started inauspiciously, with a solitary fifth place all he could boast from the opening triple-header at Brands Hatch.
The second round at Donington Park proved a portent of the season to come however, as he followed up a second place in the opening race with back-to-back wins to put himself firmly back into the championship hunt.
Electrical gremlins, disqualification, fires and turbo boost issues all afflicted him, and yet he managed to put together a clean campaign and was invariably brilliant in the races, especially in the wet.
After demonstrating that so pointedly at Rockingham, Shedden salvaged results at Silverstone to head into the Brands Hatch decider with a crucial buffer.
Rain played into his hands on the Kent track, and a second and third in the final two races sealed his title triumph in fitting fashion.