Reigning champion Gordon Shedden said that he was delighted to finish seventh in a “random” qualifying session at Brands Hatch GP, out-qualifying his Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rival, Sam Tordoff.
The Halfords Yuasa Racing driver survived a flurry of changes in the final five minutes of a qualifying session hampered by downpours during a red flag period, climbing to seventh place despite several lurid moments while Tordoff could only muster 10th.
Shedden enters the final three races 11 points adrift of his BMW rival, as he bids to become the first driver to successfully defend the BTCC title since Fabrizio Giovanardi in 2008.
Speaking to The Checkered Flag on qualifying, Shedden commented: “Very good; it was a bit random with the conditions though.
“It’s difficult because it’s changing so, so fast and it’s hard to know how hard you can push. There were quite a few laps where I just didn’t hook it up because I was absolutely on it, then I’d find a wet patch and it was gone.
“We actually looked at it and thought, with 10 minutes to go, there was no way it was going to dry. Then with seven minutes to go, it was almost bone dry.”
Weather reports confidently hint at dry conditions for Sunday’s action, something that Shedden is not concerned about despite his and Honda’s prowess on damp tarmac.
“The car is good in all conditions”, added the Scot. “To be fair, if it was raining tomorrow I’d be delighted. The car is good in the wet, but it will be in the dry as well.”
While Shedden has a deficit of 11 points to make up on Sunday, Honda team-mate Matt Neal sits 13 points behind Tordoff as he himself hunts a fourth BTCC title.
Qualifying three places clear of Tordoff, Shedden added: “Obviously we need as much daylight as possible between myself and Tordoff as we can get. There’s not much at the moment, so I’ll have to get my head down and do the best I can.
“Matt [Neal] wants to get through as well and he needs to finish in front of Tordoff, so it’s going to be exciting for both of us.”