Jason Plato was fastest in first practice for this weekend’s British Touring Car Championship meet at Snetterton, as he and teammate Sam Tordoff threw down the gauntlet to their rivals by occupying the top two spots.
In a quiet session, Plato hit the top of the time sheets with 20 minutes remaining to usurp Tordoff, who had previously beaten Matt Neal’s time. The pair exchanged fastest times for a couple of laps, before Plato posted a 1:57.870s to beat his teammate by 0.115s.
Andrew Jordan had a low-key run to third, having come close to topping the session in the dying seconds only to lose time in the second and third sectors, having set the fastest time in the first.
The Toyotas of Dave Newsham and Adam Morgan were also largely unnoticed on track, but their fourth and fifth placed times respectively indicate that they could be in contention for podium places this weekend. Last year’s pole man Frank Wrathall struggled in his Avensis, however, completing just eight laps on his way to 22nd.
Behind the leading five, Aron Smith, Colin Turkington, Gordon Shedden, Rob Austin and Mat Jackson completed the top ten, with Matt Neal’s 11th place suggesting that it might be a tough weekend for the championship leader and his Honda team.
First practice was also a struggle for Team HARD. Jack Goff was the fastest runner in 12th, with Tom Onslow-Cole in 16th. Rob Holland was 25th on his return to the series, while Warren Scott was last of the 27 runners in the session following his switch to the second Volkswagen Passat.
Andy Neate finally made his long-awaited appearance in the IP Tech Racing Chevrolet Cruze, posting the 20th fastest time – a 2:01.021 – just ahead of the fastest s2000 car of Lea Wood.