British Touring Car Championship
Snetterton (300) - Free Practice - 30/7/16
With its six week break finally over, the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship roared back in to action for the second half of the 2016 season with the first of the two free practice sessions from Norfolk's Snetterton circuit. With Michael Caine replacing Chris Smiley in the TCL/RCIB Insurance Racing Toyota Avensis and Eurotech Racing's Daniel Lloyd sitting out the rest of the season, 30 cars took to the 3 mile circuit with Dan Welch's Proton failing to join the party.
With the overcast sky giving way to warm sunshine, it was the West Surrey Racing prepared BMW 125i M Sports of IHG Rewards Club's Jack Goff and Team JCT600 with GardX's Rob Collard that were the first cars out on track with the rest of the field following soon after. Halfords Yuasa Racing completed fewer timed laps than most other teams owing to a technical issue affecting the Honda Civic Type Rs of both Gordon Shedden and Matt Neal.
Carrying no success ballast, Colin Turkington was fastest in his Silverline Subaru BMR Racing Levorg GT, ending the session half a second faster than 2nd placed Sam Tordoff in the Team JCT600 with GardX BMW. This was an impressive result for Tordoff as he was carrying 75Kg success ballast in his car. Ashley Sutton was 3rd fastest in his MG Racing RCIB Insurance MG6GT with Andrew Jordan 4th in his Motorbase Performance Ford Focus.
With the sky overcast and the temperature distinctly lower than before, the second practice session got underway with the BMWs once again leading the cars out on to the circuit. Defending BTCC Drivers' Champion Gordon Shedden was late to the session as his Halfords Yuasa Racing engineers were completing an engine change on his Honda Civic Type R following the first session. The Scot completed only 7 laps during the session.
Adam Morgan topped the time sheet, posting the fastest lap of the day in his WIX Racing Mercedes Benz A-Class. Ashley Sutton continued his earlier form, ending the session 2nd fastest ahead of the BKR Volkswagen CC of Aron Smith in 3rd. Tom Ingram finished 4th fastest in his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis, just 0.001s ahead of Colin Turkington. Championship leader Sam Tordoff completed the top 6.
The scene is now set for the qualifying session to determine the grid for the first of tomorrow's three Dunlop MSA British Touring Car races and with pole position the chance to earn the first championship point of the weekend.
Published 30 July 2016