MACDOWALL PIPS HOME FAVOURITE SHEDDEN TO SHOCK POLE POSITION AT KNOCKHILL Alex MacDowall caused an upset with pole position ahead of the favourite, Gordon Shedden, for Knockhill's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round. Cumbrian ...
MACDOWALL PIPS HOME FAVOURITE SHEDDEN TO SHOCK POLE POSITION AT KNOCKHILL
Alex MacDowall caused an upset with pole position ahead of the favourite, Gordon Shedden, for Knockhill's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round.
Cumbrian teenager MacDowall achieved pole with a best lap of 53.001s in his Silverline Chevrolet Cruze - a new BTCC qualifying record around the spectacular Fife circuit.
But the 19-year-old from Carlisle urged caution, saying: "To beat Gordon on his home circuit is pretty special but I'm wary it's only half the battle won. I was on pole at Snetterton and my gear lever broke ten yards after the start. Hopefully there'll be none of that tomorrow…"
Scottish ace Shedden, who'd been fastest in the two earlier practice sessions, had to make do with 53.073s and second place on the starting grid for the first of tomorrow's three races.
The Dalgety Bay racer's attempts to better MacDowall's time were wrecked when his Honda Racing Team Honda Civic tripped over another car that was rejoining the circuit after a spin. Shedden said: "I had to take evasive accident and swiped off part of my car against a barrier but, although it's very frustrating, second still means the front row of the grid. I'm going all out for wins tomorrow in front of my home crowd."
Shedden, fourth in the standings, is at least the best placed of the title protagonists, although qualifying right behind him in third and fourth were his Honda team-mate Matt Neal, currently third in the table, and Silverline Chevrolet's Jason Plato, the series leader. Plato impressively set his time despite his car carrying the maximum 45kgs of success ballast.
Airwaves BMW driver Steven Kane put on a late burst to leap to fifth ahead of Paul O'Neill in his Sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Motorsport Honda Integra. O'Neill was just one thousandth of a second clear of seventh-fastest Tom Chilton who was followed in eighth by Team Aon Ford team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole, currently second in the standings. So close were times that the top 13 drivers were covered by less than a second.