'Flash' fire for Fifer Sheddenposted in BTCC11 | 08 | 2012
FIFER GORDON SHEDDEN'S British Touring Car Championship bid at Snetterton went up in smoke today when his Honda burst into flames during this morning’s opening free practice session (see more photos of Gordon Shedden's escape from his blazing Honda).
Shaken but unharmed, the 33-year-old from Dalgety Bay, currently second in the title race, one point behind his team-mate Matt Neal, was returning to the pit lane when his world went up in smoke.
“I was coming round the last bend and then there was a pop," Shedden, appropriately nicknamed 'Flash', explained. "It was like a misfire or as if the car had run out of fuel.
"As I started coasting into the pit lane, flame suddenly flashed up the side of the car.
"My first reaction was to get it to the Team Dynamics pit garage as quickly as possible so we could get it extinguished.”
Tests later proved the blaze to Shedden's Yuasa Honda Racing Team Civic was caused by the failing of an aluminium union at the end of the fuel rail which then allowed fuel to spill out and catch fire.
Despite frantic work by his team to rebuild his car for this afternoon's qualifying session, Shedden — who had set the session’s second fastest time just prior to the blaze — was only able to complete four slow laps in his Honda.
While the Scot will start the first of tomorrow's three races from 22nd and last place on the grid, Neal lines up seventh. Frank Wrathall bagged his first pole position for Toyota, while Jason Plato, eight points behind Shedden in the title race, lines up second on the grid in his MG. Inverness-based Dave Newsham starts third in his Vauxhall.
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