Snetterton BTCC: Shedden scores first pole of comeback

Three-time British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden has claimed pole position for Sunday’s second round of the 2021 season at Snetterton.

Snetterton BTCC: Shedden scores first pole of comeback

The Scot snatched the fastest time in the top 10 qualifying shootout away from Colin Turkington on the final lap of the 10-minute session to claim the top spot by 0.163 seconds.

Shedden is carrying no success ballast on his Team Dynamics Honda after a disastrous start to his comeback season at Thruxton, and his performance was partly the result of tyre strategy across the Snetterton Saturday.

Competitors used the hard-compound Goodyear throughout the Thruxton meeting, but in Norfolk it’s the medium, with the soft available as the option tyre for Sunday’s races.

“It’s a strange situation, because there are no carryover tyres, so we sat out quite a lot of FP2 [to save tyres] and give ourselves the best chance in qualifying, and wow, it’s paid off,” said Shedden.

“It was a last-lap job for me, and I managed to find about a quarter of a second.”

Turkington, with 27kg of ballast aboard his West Surrey Racing-run BMW, easily topped the initial 25-minute qualifying session by 0.291s from practice pace-setter Tom Ingram.

Turkington sat atop the times for most of the shootout, but didn’t quite have enough when it mattered, although is looking forward to the forecast hot conditions on Sunday which traditionally favour rear-wheel-drive cars such as the BMW.

Ingram, with 33kg of ballast on his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai, said he made a small mistake at the Wilson hairpin on his way to third fastest, although this did not account for the time chasm to the front-row men.

Rory Butcher was, in turn, some considerable distance behind Ingram in fourth place with his unballasted Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota.

Butcher just squeaked into the shootout with a couple of minutes of regular qualifying remaining, having had his earlier times deleted due to track-limits infringements.

Two more BMWs fill the third row, with Stephen Jelley’s WSR car in fifth and Adam Morgan doing a solid job to put his Ciceley Motorsport version sixth.

The two Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Fords occupy row four, with Ollie Jackson ahead of championship leader Jake Hill.

Eighth position is a very good effort for Hill, who is carrying the maximum 75kg of success ballast and whose three closest title challengers all failed to make the shootout by some margin.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton (48kg) placed his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti down in 16th position, although lost a lap that would have given him 11th to track limits.

Josh Cook (66kg) has qualified his BTC Racing Honda in 17th, while Jason Plato (57kg) will start his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall from 19th.

The final two drivers in the top 10 were Dan Lloyd in his PMR Vauxhall and Tom Oliphant in the third of the WSR BMWs, although Oliphant lost a lap in the shootout that would have put him sixth, again due to track limits.

Qualifying results:

Cla   Nº   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay 
52 Gordon Shedden Honda 1'55.208  
2 Colin Turkington BMW 1'55.371 0.163
80 Tom Ingram Hyundai 1'55.700 0.492
6 Rory Butcher Toyota 1'56.012 0.804
12 Stephen Jelley BMW 1'56.030 0.822
33 Adam Morgan BMW 1'56.156 0.948
48 Ollie Jackson Ford 1'56.262 1.054
24 Jake Hill Ford 1'56.403 1.195
123 Daniel Lloyd Vauxhall 1'56.492 1.284
10  15 Tom Oliphant BMW 1'56.826 1.618
11  32 Daniel Rowbottom Honda 1'56.355 1.147
12  22 Chris Smiley Hyundai 1'56.460 1.252
13  3 Tom Chilton BMW 1'56.543 1.335
14  31 Jack Goff Cupra 1'56.592 1.384
15  4 Sam Osborne Ford 1'56.711 1.503
16  1 Ash Sutton Infiniti 1'56.719 1.511
17  66 Josh Cook Honda 1'56.809 1.601
18  21 Jessica Hawkins Ford 1'56.860 1.652
19  11 Jason Plato Vauxhall 1'56.948 1.740
20  40 Árón T.-Smith Cupra 1'56.986 1.778
21  16 Aiden Moffat Infiniti 1'57.033 1.825
22  18 Senna Proctor Honda 1'57.078 1.870
23  41 Carl Boardley Infiniti 1'57.098 1.890
24  23 Sam Smelt Toyota 1'57.501 2.293
25  99 Jade Edwards Honda 1'57.847 2.639
26  96 Jack Butel Hyundai 1'58.220 3.012
27  62 Rick Parfitt Hyundai 1'58.319 3.111
28  28 Nicolas Hamilton Cupra 1'58.458 3.250
29  88 Glynn Geddie Cupra   -

 

shares
comments

Related video

Proctor fills BTC Racing Honda BTCC seat for rest of the season
Previous article

Proctor fills BTC Racing Honda BTCC seat for rest of the season

Next article

Shedden excluded from qualifying, team blames ‘finger trouble’

Shedden excluded from qualifying, team blames ‘finger trouble’
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Motorsport.com picks out the best performers.

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Prime

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Prime

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Prime

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020