GORDON SHEDDEN insists his team will begin 2022 "on the front foot" after wrapping up the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) with a pair of podium places.

The 42-year-old, along with brother-in-law, Rory Butcher, signed off for the season at Brands Hatch's Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of October 23-24 with two third spots, as well as a seventh place.

It wasn't enough for the Halfords Racing with Cataclean driver to challenge for a fourth BTCC title – he finished sixth in the standings, one place and four points ahead of Butcher – but, despite a mixed season personally, he is hopeful for 2022.

Halfords Racing with Cataclean finished third in the team standings, while team-mate Dan Rowbottom collected the Jack Sears Trophy, and Shedden remarked: "On the podium nine times but nine non-scores ... the story of my season.

"My car felt really good over the weekend and obviously we've had cracking pace. We'll start on the front foot next year though; we've just got to attack and see how we get on."

Shedden lined up in fourth place for race one at Brands Hatch, moving beyond Rowbottom into third, a position he held while setting a new lap record for the legendary Grand Prix circuit.

'Flash' claimed third again in race two and, despite losing places off the line, finished the season in the points by taking the final flag in seventh.

Meanwhile, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK driver Butcher said that a disappointing final race weekend wouldn't detract from what he described as a "brilliant second half of the season".

An uncharacteristic 19th place in qualifying hindered his attempts to finish in the points in race one, climbing to 16th, but he managed to place seventh in race two, despite being squeezed off-track by Aiden Moffat as he attempted an overtake, which left him with grass in the radiator of his Toyota Corolla which sent his engine temperature soaring.

The 34-year-old had been confident of a podium push in the final race but a wheelspin-afflicted launch cost him ground and pace.

Despite that, a ninth-place finish saw him cement seventh in the drivers' standings, having enjoyed three race victories, and six podiums, during 2021.

"The car was probably at its best in race two but the grass in the radiator caused the water temperature to shoot skywards," he reflected.

"That meant I had to back off and cruise around at nine-tenths to make sure I was looking after the engine, and I came under increasing pressure from behind as the race progressed. I managed to get to the end without losing any positions, which was a great result – although it also went to show what might have been achievable without that problem.

"Starting from third on the grid, I felt really hopeful for race three, but we simply didn’t have the pace we thought we would.

"It was obviously disappointing for the team not to end on a high after all the effort that everybody has put in but, ultimately, that didn’t detract from a brilliant second half of the season overall."

The championship was won by Ash Sutton, and the 2022 season begins at Donnington Park on April 23-24.