British Touring Car Championship leader Gordon Shedden believes he made the right choice in opting against the 'safe and steady' option after hailing a 'proper effort' to qualify fourth for tomorrow's first Brands Hatch race.

The Team Dynamics driver successfully completed the first part of the title showdown by crucially out-qualifying all of his championship contenders.

Team BMR's Colin Turkington and Jason Plato sit directly behind Shedden's Honda Civic Type-R in fifth and sixth while Matt Neal and MG's Andrew Jordan languish further back in eighth and thirteenth.

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With 0.992's separating Mat Jackson's pole position lap to the time in 17th, Shedden - still having to wrestle 75 kilos of success ballast - says there was no room to leave any time on the table.

"I've just got to keep doing the best I can," Shedden told "That's really tough with 75 kilos of ballast. It's a proper effort around here but you can't leave anything on the table because it's so close.

"You lose a couple of tenths and you're back ten-places so you can't go safe and steady because a 'decent' lap isn't good enough round here.

"At least where all in around the same place. It would have been a bit different if I was starting ten places further back. I'm happy and I think the car is in really good shape. I think we should be absolutely fine in race trim because that was basically race trim."

Despite all the cards seemingly stacked in Shedden's favour, the 2012 BTCC champion insists he isn't leaving anything to chance.

Shedden's nearest challenge comes in the shape of Team BMR's Plato, who is 23-points behind the championship leader.

"I've just got to keep going, that's all I can do. I'm just going to go as quickly as possible and see what happens. If it's enough, it's enough. If it's not, it's not," Shedden continued.

"It's why we do it. You want to go racing and do the best that you can in any situation. This event is worth the same amount of points as any other event - points make prizes."