Gordon Shedden said that he expects team-mate Matt Neal to be contending for victories in the fourth Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting at Oulton Park after a strong qualifying session once again for Halfords Yuasa Racing.
The Honda Civic Type-R duo – who locked out the front row at Thruxton – were once again at the sharp end in Saturday’s qualifying session at the Cheshire circuit, Neal claiming back-to-back pole positions while Shedden will start fifth on the grid.
The Scot was demoted to row three by Colin Turkington after the final minute concluded, but admitted that his fighting effort gives him a chance of salvaging some strong points despite carrying 66kg success ballast.
“It’s been brilliant for us today though”, Shedden told The Checkered Flag after a strong qualifying for Honda. “I’m dead chuffed with it. It was a great lap.
“Tomorrow it will be hard with the weight. I need to limit the damage at the start, then we can make the best of it in the remaining races. It’s tough out there – there’s no getting away from that.
“It just goes to show that when we hook it all up we’ve got a real good car and he’ll make the most of it. I’m sure there’s every chance [Matt] will take a couple of wins this weekend if he can get it off the line.”
Shedden enters Sunday’s action just seven points adrift of Tom Ingram in the Drivers’ Championship, the latter qualifying 11th on the grid for Speedworks Motorsport with maximum ballast.
Sunday’s weather forecast also predicts a brighter afternoon for the latest trio of races, a relief to many after a deluge caused problems earlier in the day in the second practice session which was also topped by Neal.
“It’s the same for everybody when the conditions are that bad”, said Shedden, who suffered one of two offs during the day in the sodden second session.
“The weather just kept changing. I went out on an out-lap and that part of the track was almost dry. At Druids, one time I arrived at the same spot and it was soaking all of a sudden.”
Photo: BTCC Media