Gordon Shedden said that seventh and 10th on the grid was a solid qualifying result from Halfords Yuasa Racing in the penultimate Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the season at Silverstone.
The reigning BTCC champion worked tirelessly on creating a slipstream with Honda team-mate Matt Neal during the 30-minute qualifying session in Northamptonshire, the latter securing seventh place while Shedden rounded out the top 10.
Neal finished just 0.350s adrift of pole-sitter, Ashley Sutton, but Shedden was left brimming from the result having expected the Civic Type-R to struggle down the three main straights of the national circuit.
“If you said I’d qualify in the top 10 beforehand, I’d have been quite happy”, Shedden told The Checkered Flag after a strong qualifying for Honda.
“Matt got a storming lap and a proper cheeky double tow from me and [Andrew] Jordan. The Focus should have been orange, because he kept playing with us.”
Shedden sits 20 points adrift of series leader, Sam Tordoff, Neal just five behind heading into a Sunday that the Scot says will be about scoring well in the opening race.
“We’re not in the race at the front with that kind of ballast”, said Shedden. “We’ve got to be accepting of that but we’re only three-and-a-half tenths off which isn’t bad.
“We’ll make the best of race one, then just see what happens when the day goes on. It’s going to be hard, but the more we can work together to score points then the better it will be for us.”
It was a less fruitful qualifying session for Honda’s closest title rivals, championship leader Tordoff qualifying 16th on the grid, while Mat Jackson (Ford) could could muster 20th place and Rob Collard just 24th for West Surrey Racing.
Shedden expects the BMW duo in particular to be in the mix on Sunday, adding: “Tordoff and Jackson haven’t had an amazing qualifying and we’ve got to make the best out of that.
“[BMW] are always good over a race distance; I’ve certainly seen the true pace of them with no weight at Rockingham but it’s not the best circuit for overtaking surprisingly.”