Gordon Shedden took a second pole position of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season at Rockingham, in a session disrupted by torrential weather conditions.
A shower prior to qualifying intensified at the Corby Motor Speedway, thunder and lightning adding itself to the downpour as the 30-minute session to decide the grid got underway.
Shedden set the initial pace in the Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type-R, his time of 1m36.559s enough to grab provisional pole position from the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST of Mat Jackson.
Red flags were soon waved to signal a stoppage in the session, as conditions continued to depreciate further. This improved during the interruption, the session resuming with 15 minutes remaining.
Shedden improved his time to 1m36.338s in the dying seconds of the session, securing pole position by 0.288s ahead of Jackson’s Focus. A late effort also by Josh Cook jumped the Triple Eight MG6 to third on the grid, joined on row two by the Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT of Jason Plato.
Plato recovered from the gravel trap after an off at Gracelands along the way, pipping Subaru team-mate Colin Turkington who rounded out the top five ahead of Ashley Sutton in the second MG.
Tom Ingram‘s Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis will start seventh on the grid having had his initial best times removed for failing a ride height check, Matt Neal (Honda), Adam Morgan (Mercedes) and Hunter Abbott (Chevrolet) rounding out the top 10.
West Surrey Racing endured a session to forget meanwhile, the Manufacturers’ Championship leaders starting 26th, 27th and 28th respectively for Jack Goff, Rob Collard and series leader, Sam Tordoff.
Collard’s session ended early as a result of a gear selection problem, in addition to an engine misfire which the WSR driver stated was “a problem that affected all three [BMWs] this afternoon.”