So who deserves it most? The gloves will come off in the fight for the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Brands Hatch this weekend and, realistically, two men will go head-to-head for the ultimate prize.
Factory Honda Civic Type R driver Gordon Shedden and Team BMR VW CC man Jason Plato are in the boxed seats, while their respective team-mates Matt Neal and Colin Turkington are lagging slightly behind.
The bare statistics tell you that Plato has taken more wins: five compared with Shedden’s four. But going beyond that, the Honda man’s collection of silverware is greater than Plato’s. Shedden has picked up seven other rostrum finishes, whereas Plato has four.
Both came to the season facing tough challenges. Shedden was at the controls of a freshly built Type R, which was only finally bolted together in the weeks leading up to the opener at Brands Hatch. But the Team Dynamics squad knows what it is doing and the hatchback was a winner in only its second race.
The expertise and engineering depth of the squad was evident and the key strength of the Honda has been its ability to set quick lap times when it is carrying the mandatory success ballast. Shedden’s qualifying performance has been staggering when compared with his team-mate, and his flair for clean overtaking moves throughout 2015 have left him at the top of the championship pile.