Shedden fastest in Knockhill practice

Gordon Shedden put his circuit knowledge to good effect by setting the pace in practice for the British Touring Car Championship round at Knockhill

Shedden fastest in Knockhill practice

The Honda driver, who works at the track during the week, was quickest during the morning session and knocked 0.3 seconds off his best time in the afternoon to set the pace in 53.092s.

The top three positions were all filled by Hondas, but a surprising second was the Tech-Speed Integra of Paul O'Neill, despite him driving on tyres with a full race distance on them from the last round at Silverstone.

Shedden's team-mate Matt Neal, who is carrying 27kg of success ballast, was third quickest, one place ahead of championship leader Jason Plato, who has 45kg in his Chevrolet. Alex MacDowall was fifth quickest in the next of the Chevrolets, ahead of Tom Chilton's Arena Ford.

Chilton's team-mate Tom Onslow-Cole, who has 36kg of weight on his car, was eighth, the pair sandwiching Andrew Jordan's Eurotech Vauxhall.

Jordan's times in both sessions were hard-earned. The driver is suffering from a bout of food poisoning, as are a number of members of his team. An attempt to get his father Mike - a former BTCC race winner - into the car following morning practice came to nothing as series regulations state that drivers cannot be switched after the first session.

Steven Kane was the quickest of the BMW drivers in ninth in his Motorbase Performance machine, one place ahead of Rob Collard's WSR car.

Jeff Smith, who is making his BTCC debut this weekend, was 16th quickest, only 1.7s off Shedden's pace. His Triple 8 Vauxhall team-mate James Nash missed most of the first session when his second gear exploded on an out-lap. He ended up 12th.

John George also missed a big chunk of the morning session after his Tech-Speed Honda developed a misfire. The problem was cured once an engine wiring loom was replaced.

Pos Driver Car Time Gap 1. Gordon Shedden Honda 53.092s 2. Paul O'Neill Honda 53.304s + 0.212s 3. Matt Neal Honda 53.320s + 0.228s 4. Jason Plato Chevrolet 53.342s + 0.250s 5. Alex MacDowall Chevrolet 53.444s + 0.352s 6. Tom Chilton Ford 53.464s + 0.372s 7. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall 53.482s + 0.390s 8. Tom Onslow-Cole Ford 53.541s + 0.449s 9. Steven Kane BMW 53.605s + 0.513s 10. Rob Collard BMW 53.643s + 0.551s 11. Mat Jackson BMW 53.737s + 0.645s 12. James Nash Vauxhall 53.917s + 0.825s 13. Tom Boardman SEAT 53.926s + 0.834s 14. John George Honda 54.164s + 1.072s 15. David Pinkney Vauxhall 54.537s + 1.445s 16. Jeff Smith Vauxhall 54.705s + 1.613s 17. Andy Neate BMW 54.944s + 1.852s 18. Shaun Hollamby Volkswagen 55.079s + 1.987s 
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MacDowall earns pole at Knockhill

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