Fifer Gordon Shedden marked his return to the British Touring Car Championship, leading the Glasgow-based Clyde Valley Racing team for the first time, by putting his Seat Leon to within 0.902secs of polesitter Jason Plato.
But while the former champ lapped the 1.9-mile circuit at Snetterton in 1min 12.247secs in his Chevrolet to bag pole position, Shedden’s best of 1:13.149s sees him start the first of tomorrow’s triple-header at the Norfolk track from 13th.
“To be honest, I have to be pleased with that,” Shedden, who was within 0.090s of team-mate Adam Jones and who hasn’t raced since the season opener at Brands Hatch in April, admitted today.
“Given the fact I haven’t raced for months and I only saw the Leon for the first time this morning, I think we’ve done bloody good to get the lap time we did. It certainly shows the potential the team has.
“We can improve the car further overnight and I think we’ll be in a strong position to be aggressive when we go racing tomorrow.”
Shedden, who will lead the team for the remainder of the season, improved the car dramatically from the times he recorded in the morning practice session where he was 1.3s off the fastest lap.
Plato meanwhile, fourth in the championship and just 11 points behind the Vauxhall of second-placed Matt Neal and who started the last round at Oulton from pole, starts alongside the BMW of championship leader and former Knockhill instructor Colin Turkington.
And while Neal starts fourth alongside the third-placed Civic of James Thompson, defending champ Fabrizio Giovanardi had to content himself with fifth. The Italian’s Vauxhall lines up next to the BMW of Kirkcaldy’s Jonathan Adam.