Honda's Gordon Shedden admits the new Civic Type-R is still 'tricky' to handle despite achieving an impressive front-row grid slot at Donington Park.

The 2012-champion split the colossally quick Volkswagen CC's - Colin Turkington pole, Jason Plato third - after only narrowly missing out on claiming a surprise pole-position himself around the former Grand Prix circuit, adding to what was an already positive start to the Civic Type-R's BTCC career.

Impressively still, Shedden's best effort during qualifying came despite the Scotsman running over 30-kilos of success ballast carried over from the Brands Hatch weekend. Turkington also managed to achieve the same feat aboard his Volkswagen CC.

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"It's good to get on the front row. I think coming into the weekend I would have put my money on cars with zero ballast being on the front row," Shedden told crash.net.

"We did a good job, we worked hard at it today but it's still not perfect. She's still quite tricky to drive but it seems to be able to do the lap time and that's the positive thing."

Both Shedden and team mate Matt Neal - early in the Type-R's development - have already taken Honda to victory this season and it's Neal's run on the soft tyre at Brand Hatch in race three, which leaves the 36-year old reason to believe that the same can be achieved tomorrow.

"Obviously, we want to win but we've got a lot of weight in the car. It's about scoring points. As I said, this championship isn't necessarily about winning the most races; it's about playing the long game and scoring as many points as possible," Shedden continued.

"Matt [Neal] definitely had a good run on the soft at Brands to win at the end of the day where a lot of the other cars destroyed them early on.

"We're going to see massive swings with cars being really competitive and not competitive depending on the weight and what tyres everyone will be using at any given time."

Still not yet totally satisfied with the Civic, Shedden points out that more of the car's potential should become evident after the month long break following the Thruxton round.

"We're getting there with it. We need to get through the first few rounds until we can go away and hopefully do some testing in the break after Thruxton because that's where we should see a little bit of improvement," said the Team Dynamics racer.

"Don't get me wrong though, it's a great base to work from and the guys have worked really hard at it but we've still got a way to go to get it to how we exactly want it."