Gordon Shedden aims to take full advantage of a disappointing qualifying session for his main title rivals on Sunday at Rockingham, after claiming his second Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship pole position of 2016.
The reigning champion pipped Motorbase Performance‘s Mat Jackson to the top spot in a qualifying session marred by torrential conditions at Rockingham, admitting the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R had even more on the table to play with.
“Really pleased with that”, a satisfied Shedden told The Checkered Flag afterwards. “We went quicker on the last lap; I didn’t want to take any risks, but I think there was a bit more in it.
“The balance of the car was good to start with, it was good even with the red flag and it was good at the end. We were able to put laps together quite consistently.”
Asked whether the stoppage affected him, Shedden added: “I knew the track would get a bit better at the end, so I could just push a bit more to get myself a banker if necessary.”
An improvement in weather conditions is expected on Sunday, although Shedden admits that more rain would be greeted with open arms from his point of view.
“It’s good, but tomorrow’s another day and it’s only one point gained today. It should be drier tomorrow – I hope it isn’t though! Rain would be really good.”
Pole position also gives the Scot a golden opportunity to claw back points in the Drivers’ Championship, entering 40 points behind West Surrey Racing‘s Sam Tordoff prior to the meeting. WSR suffered a difficult qualifying session, Tordoff starting tomorrow’s opening race from 28th on the grid while fellow title contender Rob Collard will start 27th.
“We’ve got to try and score big points when Sam and Rob aren’t”, Shedden said of his championship charge. “We’ve seen before that they can come through, and they will come through.
“Tyre wear is still a big thing, so I expect to see them at some point tomorrow.”