Defending British Touring Car champion Gordon Shedden has all but ruled himself out of retaining his drivers' crown after qualifying down in twelfth for tomorrow's first race at Silverstone.

Shedden's has endured a miserable run of form of late, which has seen the Team Dynamics driver fall 55-points adrift of the championship summit in third position.

The factory Honda outfit has been battling a straight-line speed deficit for much of the second half of the season, which has translated in Shedden scoring just two podium finishes since winning race three at Oulton Park back in May.

His team mate Matt Neal managed to qualify his Honda Civic Type-R with less success ballast in fourth position, but Shedden said that was largely down to a tow from another car in the 30-minute shootout.

"It’s not ideal," Shedden told "The car is great. But the problem is that I’m 32nd in the speed traps. It’s really, really tough. I’m ragging it and just hanging on. I’ve got to be the best that I can. It’s very close out there.

"Ballast adjusted, it’s pretty near as damn it the same. Matt [Neal] got a mega tow from one of the Chevrolet’s early on and that’s what has hauled him up there. He can go racing from there and do what he can.

"All I can do is try to hang onto his coat-tails and see what happens as well."

Despite being within striking distance of two of his nearest title rivals in Ashley Sutton and Colin Turkington, who both qualified eighth and tenth, Shedden admits that means little in terms of the championship picture.

"That’s OK but I’m not a championship contender. I haven’t been since the summer break, even though our car is fantastic. There’s absolutely no way [I can launch an attack from where I am]," Shedden continued.

"I’ll be lucky to finish in the top-five of the championship if it continues like this. If you look at the pace Ingram has got and Collard will be there as well. I’ve just got to do what I can and see where I am at the end."



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