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Gordon Shedden believes timing was key in tense Donington qualifying

Gordon Shedden felt that the timing of flying laps was a key factor in deciding this afternoons qualifying session ahead of the fourth round of the 2016 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park tomorrow [17th April].

The defending champion qualified fourth in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Type R with a fastest lap time of 1:12.318, just 0.589 seconds adrift of eventual pole-sitter Ashley Sutton, who led home an MG front row lockout for the first time since 2014.

Despite managing a total of 17 timed laps over the course of the thirty minute session, qualifying itself was disrupted by a brace of red flag stoppages and the circuit conditions improved markedly over the duration as the earlier wet weather at Donington gave way to a drying line at certain parts of the circuit.

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“I think whoever completed their last lap before the red flags got their time,” summarized Shedden.

“But it was amazing. Those kinds of qualifying sessions are great fun, because you’ve got to get on the case, you’ve got to get it done towards the end – but it wasn’t half slippy, that’s for sure!”

The two-time series winner gave his insights into managing the car and tyres in such a frenetic, difficult session, at a circuit where the gradient is constantly changing, which is even more complicated for teams and drivers when combined with the changeable weather conditions.

“You had to try and hang on, you didn’t want to throw it off, there were some times you went into one corner and it was dry, and you’d be on the edge, and you get to the next corner and massively under commit so it was just a changing landscape lap after lap.” he explained.

Looking ahead to the first of tomorrows triple header of races, Shedden believes it will be difficult to make progress with the success ballast on board, but feels the car is in a relatively good place and he can try to move forward across the day tomorrow.

“It’s good, the car feels okay and we should get some sunshine tomorrow. We’ll do what we can, we’ll give it a go but obviously I’ve got a lot of weight on it to start with, so it’s going to be tough.”

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