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Gordon Shedden takes pole in stoppage-hit wet qualifying

Honda’s Gordon Shedden scored his second pole position of the season in qualifying for the British Touring Car Championship at Rockingham, in a session which featured torrential rain amid a thunderstorm.

As rain hit around an hour before qualifying was due to begin, it became clear that the session would take place on a wet circuit. That rain then intensified at the start of the session, with the early pace being set by Motorbase Performance’s Mat Jackson.

Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Shedden then hit the top of the times around seven minutes into the session, with an initial time of 1:36.559.

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The Scot held the top time until the halfway stage of the session, with times not improving due to the increasing intensity of the rain, before the red flags flew due to the conditions becoming too dangerous.

After a ten-minute delay the storm was deemed to have passed enough to allow qualifying to resume, with Shedden holding the top spot until he improved in the closing minutes to take pole with a time of 1:36.338.

Second went to Jackson, who failed to improve on his initial time early in the session, whilst MG’s Josh Cook made a late improvement to take third, six tenths off the pole time.

Jason Plato was the leading BMR Subaru driver in fourth, having been pipped to third by Cook in the closing seconds of the session. The double champion was one of several drivers to endure a trip through the gravel at Gracelands during the session. He finished ahead of team-mate Colin Turkington, who put his sister car in fifth.

Ashley Sutton made it a strong session for the Triple Eight MG team by putting his car in sixth, the last of the drivers to be within a second of the pace having posted his time just before the halfway stage of the session.

Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram was seventh, despite having had his times disallowed halfway through the session for failing the routine ride height check.

Matt Neal put his Honda in eighth, ahead of WIX Racing’s Adam Morgan and Power Maxed Racing’s Hunter Abbott, who completed the top ten.

Handy Motorsport’s Rob Austin qualified down in 23rd, but will start race one from the back of the grid due to having received his third strike for driving standards at the previous round at Knockhill.

It was a disastrous session for the championship leaders WSR, with Sam Tordoff down in 28th position, behind team-mates Jack Goff in 26th and Rob Collard in 27th. The latter reported that he had gearbox issues and an engine misfire, blaming the problems on the soaking wet weather.

Race one takes place at 11:37 BST on Sunday.

Qualifying times

1 52 M Gordon SHEDDEN Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 15 1:36.338
2 7 Mat JACKSON Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 14 1:36.626 0.288
3 66 M Josh COOK MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 15 1:36.976 0.638
4 99 M Jason PLATO Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 1:37.043 0.705
5 4 M Colin TURKINGTON Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 15 1:37.091 0.753
6 116 M Ashley SUTTON MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT 13 1:37.220 0.882
7 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 13 1:37.575 1.237
8 25 M Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:37.580 1.242
9 33 Adam MORGAN WIX Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 15 1:37.640 1.302
10 53 Hunter ABBOTT Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 13 1:37.734 1.396
11 30 Martin DEPPER Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:38.297 1.959
12 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 14 1:38.307 1.969
13 71 David NEWSHAM Power Maxed Racing Chevrolet Cruze 12 1:38.369 2.031
14 77 Andrew JORDAN Motorbase Performance Ford Focus 14 1:38.400 2.062
15 55 Jeff SMITH Eurotech Racing Honda Civic Type R 11 1:38.707 2.369
16 303 Matt SIMPSON Speedworks Motorsport Honda Civic Type R 13 1:38.713 2.375
17 20 M James COLE Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:38.846 2.508
18 39 M Warren SCOTT Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Subaru Levorg GT 16 1:38.854 2.516
19 24 Jake HILL RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis 12 1:38.877 2.539
20 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD Tuning Audi S3 12 1:39.023 2.685
21 40 Árón SMITH BKR Volkswagen CC 12 1:39.317 2.979
22 14 Alex MARTIN Dextra Racing with Team Parker Ford Focus 14 1:39.429 3.091
23 11 Rob AUSTIN Handy Motorsport Toyota Avensis 6 1:39.558 3.220
24 17 Dan WELCH Goodestone Racing Proton Persona 13 1:39.848 3.510
25 95 Stewart LINES Maximum Motorsport Ford Focus 14 1:39.988 3.650
26 31 C Jack GOFF Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport 10 1:40.613 4.275
27 100 C Rob COLLARD Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 7 1:41.033 4.695
28 600 C Sam TORDOFF Team JCT600 with GardX BMW 125i M Sport 8 1:41.560 5.222
29 34 Tony GILHAM TLC Racing Toyota Avensis 13 1:41.715 5.377
30 38 Mark HOWARD BKR Volkswagen CC 12 1:41.810 5.472
31 12 Mike EPPS RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis No time N/A

Complete session results

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