RETAINING his crown may be a long shot but Gordon Shedden insists he has plenty to play for in this afternoon’s British Touring Car Championship climax.

Although he sits third in the standings and can mathematically finish top going into the final round at Brands Hatch, the 38-year-old is determined to at least finish in the top three if he is to miss out on the championship.

Halfords Yuasa Racing driver Shedden, business development manager at Knockhill, had been seeking to become the first in the modern era to win the series three years in a row.

Going into the penultimate race weekend at Silverstone, Shedden had high hopes of a repeat of his dramatic final race triumph 12 months ago.

But, after struggling with 57kg of success ballast on board his Honda Civic Type R which restricted him to 16th in qualifying, a puncture in race one prompted an unscheduled trip to the pit plane.

Things didn’t improve in race two as he failed to finish following a coming together with Rob Austin and, despite a gritty effort to fight through the field and take 12th in the day’s final race, it leaves ‘Flash’ 66 points behind leader Ashley Sutton.

With second-placed Colin Turkington 10 points off the lead, it looks likely to be a two-way fight for the title and see Shedden miss out on a fourth crown overall.

But he’s determined to finish on a high – especially as Honda and Halford Yuasa Racing are locked in tight tussles for the runner-up laurels in the manufacturers’ and teams’ tables – and wants to maintain an impressive personal record.

Shedden has finished at least third in each of the last seven seasons, and said: “My main aim for Brands Hatch will be to finish the season on a high – and I’ll certainly be giving it a go! I want to bring some silverware home, and obviously third place in the championship is still up for grabs and is very important to me.

“There’s always a fantastic atmosphere there to end the season and it’s the kind of circuit that should play to our strengths, so we need to make sure we exploit that.”