Neal and Shedden undone as works Honda team suffers disastrous BTCC qualifying at Thruxton
|By Kevin Turner||Saturday, April 28th 2012, 15:42 GMT|
The works Honda team suffered a disastrous British Touring Car qualifying session at Thruxton.
Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal had dominated free practice, challenged only by Jason Plato's works MG6 and the Eurotech Civics of Andrew Jordan and Jeff Smith.
But in the mixed conditions of qualifying, reigning champion Neal crashed at Allard after changing from wet tyres to slicks. Shedden set a lap good enough for pole, but lost most of his times due to a boosting regulator problem that allowed his Neil Brown-prepared engine to exceed its series-limited boost maximum.
Shedden will therefore start 18th for Sunday's first race, with Neal 20th.
Team boss Steve Neal explained the problem with Shedden's car. "The turbocharger is producing more boost than it should be," he said. "It's been playing up on Gordon's car all day and is spiking.
"As soon as we saw it, we told the stewards."
Smith will start between the works cars after he had laps disallowed for exceeding the track limits, and went off.
Team-mate Jordan nevertheless underlined the competitiveness of the NGTC Civic around Thruxton by giving the new-for-2012 machine its first pole of the season.