Shedden on pole as Honda lock-out front row againPosted: June 4, 2011 | |
The Scot – lying fifth in the drivers standings coming into the round – was the first man to set a threatening lap time in the early stages of the session with a 1.27.355s lap that was marginally quicker than his following team-mate Neal.
Neal lowered his own personal best lap time to a 1.27.505, but that was not enough to beat his rapid team-mate as he trailed by a mere 0.150s before a Honda one-two was confirmed when the session was red flagged and subsequently brought to an end due to oil at Cascades.
The stoppage was caused due to Airwaves Ford’s Liam Griffin damaging the car over the curbs at the exit of the high-speed Old Hall corner that starts the lap, the car dropping oil running down to Cascades that saw many cars – including his team-mate Mat Jackson – losing control and damaging their cars across the grass in the process such as the Audi of Rob Austin and the returning Speedworks Toyota of Tony Hughes.
The star of qualifying turned out to be Andy Neate, who set a brilliant lap early in the session also to seal a personal best third place starting spot for tomorrow, after what has been a trying start to the season with no points to his name and a best starting spot of 10th at the Brands Hatch season opener.
Neate’s effort, four tenths off the pole position time, was enough to beat the likes of reigning champion Jason Plato, the man many people – including Neal – expected to be a contender for pole position, but he had to settle for the second row of the grid after only managing fourth place, narrowly missing out on eclipsing Neate’s time as he finished only 0.007s behind the Ford driver.
Andrew Jordan finished outside the top four for the first time this season in qualifying but still ended the session fifth after a solid lap, ahead of Neate’s Arena Ford team-mate Tom Chilton in sixth position.
Plato’s team-mate Alex MacDowall meanwhile finished in seventh position, but had an eventful day which he ended on the sidelines following a spin at Old Hall midway through the 30-minute session and then damaging the Chevrolet Cruze in a seperate incident to the one that brought proceedings to a halt.
Paul O’Neill (Techspeed Chevrolet) used all the track and more en route to finishing the session a creditable eighth place, with James Nash (Triple Eight Vauxhall) and Jackson rounding out the top 10 for tomorrow’s first of three races.
Dave Newsham finished his first qualifying session in a Special Tuning Racing-run SEAT Leon in 16th place, while Frank Wrathall showed signs of improvement with the Dynojet NGTC-specification Toyota Avensis by out-qualifying Nick Foster (WSR BMW) and last year’s pole sitter and race one winner Tom Onslow-Cole (AMD Milltek Volkswagen) for 18th.
1. Gordon Shedden Honda 1m27.355s
2. Matt Neal Honda + 0.150s
3. Andy Neate Arena Ford + 0.423s
4. Jason Plato Chevrolet + 0.427s
5. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Vauxhall + 0.559s
6. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 0.689s
7. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet + 0.736s
8. Paul O’Neill Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 0.923s
9. James Nash Triple 8 Vauxhall + 0.964s
10. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford + 1.090s
11. Jeff Smith Eurotech Vauxhall + 1.153s
12. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT + 1.174s
13. Tony Gilham Triple 8 Vauxhall + 1.229s
14. Rob Collard WSR BMW + 1.262s
15. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford + 1.380s
16. Dave Newsham Special Tuning SEAT + 1.413s
17. John George Tech-Speed Chevrolet + 1.835s
18. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota + 1.897s
19. Nick Foster WSR BMW + 2.043s
20. Tom Onslow-Cole AmD Volkswagen + 2.398s
21. Lea Wood Central Honda + 2.439s
22. Rob Austin Austin Audi + 2.546s
23. Chris James ES Chevrolet + 3.659s
24. Tony Hughes Speedworks Toyota + 4.250s