What happens when you pit double Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Champion Gordon Shedden against 23-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, head to head on each other’s race-winning machinery? Well now we can find out as Dunlop and Honda jointly hosted the unique event at Knockhill circuit, which saw Shedden swap his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R for McGuinness’s Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP for 30 laps of the Scottish track.
John McGuinness: “It was brilliant; I didn’t want to get out of the car to be honest. The first session all happened really fast but then I settled down into a groove. The whole mindset changes when you swap from what you know to something new, and I was a bit nervous, but we’re all racers and just want to go fast.
Gordon Shedden: “It was absolutely out of this world, you maybe build a picture of what you think it’s like in your head, but nothing compares to it when you’re out there. It’s phenomenally fast but once you get used to it you learn to relax and get more confident. It was an absolute privilege to have a go. It was the first time I’ve ever ridden on a slick tyre and I cannot believe the grip that the contact patch the size of a credit card can actually give you, it’s just absolutely mind blowing. The speed obviously is as you’d expect, the world passes by at a million miles an hour. I can only imagine what it’s like going round the TT course, and John is welcome to stay on that!
The two vehicles of course are very different – the number of wheels aside – but the similarities are the manufacturer brand and tire manufacturer – Honda and Dunlop. The sportsmen are different too, but both are at the peak of their sport; capable of using the tires to their maximum to achieve the best lap times. Whether that’s in a 27 lap race, over 21 miles against 31 other cars on a smooth race track, or a single 37.73-mile lap of the daunting Isle of Man TT Mountain course, held on closed public roads.