WTCR's Shedden moves on from chicane penalty
Gordon Shedden admitted he felt aggrieved at the decision to penalise him for cutting a chicane while leading Race 2 at WTCR Race of Portugal on the challenging Vila Real street circuit on Sunday.
The Audi Sport Leopard Lukoil Team driver started the reverse-grid race from the DHL Pole Position and had fended off a challenge from the YMR Hyundai i30 N TCR of Yvan Muller when he missed his braking point for a chicane.
The move earned him a five-second penalty, which robbed him of any hope of claiming a first victory in the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO. Instead, DG Sport Compétition’s Mato Homola claimed his maiden WTCR win after passing Muller and using a strong joker strategy to maintain an advantage in his PEUGEOT 308TCR.
“It’s just really disappointing,” said Shedden. “Obviously I straight-lined the chicane on the first lap at the end of the long straight because I had a brake problem and couldn’t slow down.
“As soon as I realised I’d done it I slowed right down and let everybody catch back up. I didn’t gain an advantage, if anything I lost time. But they said you cut the corner with all four wheels, so that’s a penalty.”
Shedden argued that he couldn’t have done more to race safely and ensure he hadn’t gained an edge on the rest of the field following the moment.
“If I’d attempted to take the corner and hit the wall the penalty might have been bigger than that,” said the Audi RS 3 LMS driver. “I went for the safer option and backed off, thinking that was the correct thing to do. It’s disappointing, but never mind. We move on.”
Shedden finished down in P6 following the penalty. He also lost places with an early joker lap strategy, which backfired when he returned to the track behind Comtoyou Racing’s Aurélien Panis.