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Gordon Shedden ‘dead chuffed’ with important fourth in BTCC qualifying

Gordon Shedden was ‘dead chuffed’ with fourth place in the final British Touring Car Championship qualifying session of the season, after outperforming his closest championship rivals.

Championship leader Shedden ended the session 0.216s away from Mat Jackson’s pole time, and not only out-qualified title rivals Colin Tukrington and Jason Plato – but did so with 75 kilograms of ballast aboard his machine.

Speaking to TouringCars.Net, Shedden was thrilled with his performance – although he felt it was his position relative to those in front that was most impressive.

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“You can’t leave anything on the table around here;” he said. “It’s amazing how close it is. Doing a banker lap isn’t really an option anymore because a couple of tenths of a second and you can drop ten places on the grid.

“It’s good, is fourth, with that weight. The three cars in front of me have no weight – okay, maybe Morgan has some – so I’m dead chuffed with that, and we can go racing from there tomorrow.”

That effort also came after BMR drivers Turkington and Plato had finished 1-2 in second practice, but Shedden said he had been confident of taking the fight to them.

“You go in full of optimism, of course, but this is a track which was going to suit them very well. But we kept our heads down and just tried to grind out a result.”

Bidding for a second title after his 2012 triumph, Shedden insisted that team-mate Matt Neal – would also be fighting to get ahead of the Team BMR cars after qualifying in eighth, but despite not having the comfort of a car between himself and his challengers, the Scot was bullish about his chances of becoming champion once more.

“Matt still wants to finish as high up in this championship as possible – whether that’s first, second or third,” said Shedden. “He desperately wants to be in the top three.

“He’s got a little bit less weight than Jason and Colin and he’s going to give it absolutely everything – he needs to try and come through and score big points.

“I’m really happy. The car is good over the distance – but we have to stay out of trouble.”

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