Honda's Gordon Shedden believes he can mount challenge from fifth position on the grid after out-qualifying both of his chief British Touring Car Championship rivals Jason Plato and Colin Turkington at Knockhill.

Home favourite Shedden was the highest qualifier out of the three leading drivers battling for the title with Team BMR's Turkington and Plato starting today's opening race from ninth and 22nd.

"It's fine really. I've got 58 kilos of ballast. So you've got to look at what everyone else is running and they are running less," Shedden told crash.net.

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"The BMW's are notoriously quick around here but I can only compare myself, ballast wise, to Colin [Turkington] and Jason [Plato]. We've done a better job than them."

Shedden's convincing practice form - which allowed the Team Dynamics driver to top both FP1 and FP2 - announced the Scotsman as a highly likely candidate to claim pole position.

However, his charge - whilst on a personal best lap - took an ironic twist when his team mate Matt Neal beached his Honda Civic Type-R at turn one, prompting an immediate red flag.

"I think it was just about getting the lap at the right time and we got a lot of traffic early in the session. I was on a really quick lap but they obviously stopped the session when Matt [Neal] went off and that would have put me further up," Shedden explained.

"The session didn't run particularly clean for me. It is what is. Everyone has got their tale of woe around here; you've just got to get the job done.

"Traffic was terrible. Every time I ended up with the tyres in a good place, it was either spitting with rain or there was people leaving the pit-lane at awkward times."

Despite his optimism, Shedden remains wary of the performance the BMW's have under their belt but is still confident of finishing higher than where he has qualified.

"It will be fine from P5, we can race from there. I think we can race better than we qualified. I think the BMW's should still disappear - that's the nature of the beast," Shedden continued.

"I've just got to try and get a good lap time and see where we go for race two."