AS defending champion and series leader, Gordon Shedden will attract plenty of attention tomorrow as Knockhill plays host to the latest round of the 2017 Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.
Shedden, racing for the Halfords Yuasa Honda team, arrives at his home track with just a two-point lead over Colin Turkington, the Team BMW racer a similar margin ahead of teammate Rob Collard.
But while that trio will be mixing it during Sunday’s three-race schedule, others would be happy just to find themselves on the podium at some point during the day, amongst them 20-year-old Aiden Moffat.
Like Shedden, Moffat well used to the corners and undulations of the tight Fife circuit. Unfortunately, neither is he a stranger this year to the twists and turns that have made this a frustrating season for the Laser Tools Mercedes pilot.
“At times we’ve carried a lot of pace and been quite competitive, especially early in the campaign when we had an excellent weekend at Donington Park, qualifying fourth, then getting my maiden BTCC win and another top 10 finish.
“But since then it has been a bit of a struggle at times, because the one thing we toil with is outright, straight-line speed, because the aerodynamics on the Mercedes A-Class is an issue.
“That might not be such a problem around Knockhill, because there are not that many long stretches.
“We all have the usual issues, like the debate over the power of the turbocharged cars, but that is constantly being worked on and refined.
“However, the real frustration for me is that once you get things ironed out, for instance like the suspension set-up, you then get someone making contact with you during a race, and either knocking off or slowing you down.
“It does happen, and at times it is beyond your control. But the contact this year has on occasions been indiscriminate and unnecessary, and it is time it was really clamped down on.”
Aiden though concedes that Knockhill lends itself to tight racing.
“There are two overtaking spots; at the hairpin and the pit straight. Making a pass elsewhere is all about opportunity. But having been around here so often, I have some ideas of my own.”