Jason Plato has topped the times in first practice this morning at Donington Park. The Silverline Chevrolet driver was 0.135 seconds clear of second-placed Mat Jackson who has having a rare good practice session for Airwaves BMW. Gordon Shedden was the third fastest driver, whilst Plato’s main championship rival Matt Neal was fourth fastest – some half a second slower than his chief rival.
Click here for the full first practice times.
Tom Chilton was fifth fastest, with Tom Boardman sixth fastest. Boardman is back to running his S2000 engine in his SEAT Leon this weekend after having run with the NGTC engine at Knockhill that was also used by Phil Glew at Silverstone.
The middle of the pack posted very close and competitive times, with the drivers from fourth to tenth all covered by two tenths of a second.
Paul O’Neill was the fastest Honda Integra driver, setting the 11th fastest lap. James Kaye is making his return to the BTCC this weekend, having not raced in the championship since 2006. At the wheel of a Honda Integra he set the 16th fastest lap to go second-quickest of the drivers running old BTC-Touring spec machinery.
Tom Onslow-Cole struggled in practice, unable to hook up his Ford Focus for a top ten time and he ended the session in 12th. This is despite the Team Aon driver being one of the fastest through the speed traps – along with Chilton the fastest at the finish line – albeit by only 0.1 mph!
Lea Wood and Martin Depper, both drivers who sat out the previous meeting at Knockhill, were unable to set a lap time. Both drivers suffered problems with their car’s engines – Wood with a misfire and Depper with a BMW engine note that sounded decidedly ill.