British Touring Car Championship
Oulton Park (Island) - Free Practice - 4/6/16
With all four Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GTs in attendance following their withdrawal from the Thruxton meeting it was a capacity 32 car field that took to the Oulton Park Island circuit for the first of the day's two free practice sessions from the picturesque Cheshire venue. Jason Plato and Colin Turkington had high expectations for this meeting so a solid build-up to this afternoon's qualifying session would be essential.
The initial signs were good for Jason Plato with the Team BMR driver briefly topping the time sheet in the early part of the first session that was dominated by pit stops for all the drivers as they sought the optimum setup. With teams running different programmes, the timesheet changed throughout the session with numerous drivers briefly taking the lead.
Aron Smith in the BKR Volkswagen CC looked to be the fastest driver of the session until Tom Ingram in the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis took the top spot with a lap time of 1:26.049. Ingram was the only driver to break the 93mph average lap speed barrier. Gordon Shedden ended the first session 3rd fastest ahead of Andrew Jordan 4th, Jack Goff 5th and Hunter Abbott 6th. Daniel Lloyd, Sam Tordoff, Josh Cook and Colin Turkington completed the top ten.
Tom Ingram went on to steal the show in the second free practice session, again leaving it to the closing minutes before putting in his timesheet-topping lap time of 1:25.858. The second session showed improvements by most drivers. Gordon Shedden finished the session 2nd fastest in his Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R with Aron Smith 3rd, despite improving on his earlier lap time.
Josh Cook ended the second session 4th fastest for MG Racing RCIB Insurance with Jack Goff 5th in his Team IHG Rewards Club BMW 125i M Sport. Goff's West Surrey Racing team-mate Sam Tordoff finished the session 6th for Team JCT600 with GardX. With a hint of what may follow, Jason Plato and Colin Turkington ended the session 7th and 8th with their Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GTs. Ashley Sutton and Rob Austin completed the top 10 places.
The next track action from the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship is the qualifying session to determine the grid for the first of tomorrow's three races. Will Tom Ingram consolidate his performance and take pole position? All will be revealed in the next BTCC session from Oulton Park.
Published 4 June 2016