Josh Cook kicked off proceedings in the final British Touring Car Championship round of the season after setting the pace in the opening free practice session with a fastest lap time of 1:40.042, three tenths of a second ahead of Mat Jackson.
Though Cook’s MG RCIB Insurance Racing team mate Ashley Sutton, current Jack Sears Trophy leader, led the way for the majority of the running on a damp Grand Prix layout at Brands Hatch, a late surge in the final five minutes gifted the former Clio Cup ace the top spot.
Jackson placed as the highest of the record-breaking eight championship contenders in second after a similarly late run up the order, with his counterparts all electing to reserve their hands amid the unpredictable track and weather conditions.
Standings leader Sam Tordoff could only manage an unlucky-for-some 13th, though team-mate and fellow contender Collard was able to go three tenths quicker with less success ballast on board and take ninth. Their main rivals, the Halfords Yuasa Racing duo of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, were 14th and 16th respectively.
The Subaru duo of Colin Turkington and Jason Plato, who are the contenders most likely to drop out of contention first, were only 19th and 25th, with Independent Drivers championship leader Andrew Jordan sandwiched in between them in 21st.
The top ten was completed with an unfamiliar collection of names, as late fast runs from Rob Austin, Ollie Jackson, Tom Ingram, Michael Epps, Jake Hill, Adam Morgan, Rob Collard and Jeff Smith completed the order behind Cook and Jackson.
Remarkably, the entire forty minutes of running passed without any incident of sorts to report, despite the conditions.
The second free practice session starts at 12:45 ahead of qualifying at 15:40.
|1||66||M||Josh COOK||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||17||1:40.042||0.000|
|2||7||Mat JACKSON||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||16||1:40.408||0.366|
|3||11||Rob AUSTIN||Handy Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||18||1:40.936||0.894|
|4||48||Ollie JACKSON||AmD Tuning||Audi S3||17||1:41.208||1.166|
|5||80||Tom INGRAM||Speedworks Motorsport||Toyota Avensis||15||1:41.521||1.479|
|6||12||Mike EPPS||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||18||1:42.056||2.014|
|7||24||Jake HILL||RCIB Insurance Racing||Toyota Avensis||15||1:42.087||2.045|
|8||33||Adam MORGAN||WIX Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||14||1:42.136||2.094|
|9||100||C||Rob COLLARD||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||16||1:42.544||2.502|
|10||55||Jeff SMITH||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||1:42.579||2.537|
|11||14||Alex MARTIN||Dextra Racing with Team Parker||Ford Focus||20||1:42.621||2.579|
|12||116||M||Ashley SUTTON||MG Racing RCIB Insurance||MG6GT||16||1:42.905||2.863|
|13||600||C||Sam TORDOFF||Team JCT600 with GardX||BMW 125i M Sport||17||1:42.938||2.896|
|14||25||M||Matt NEAL||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||15||1:43.114||3.072|
|15||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Mercedes-Benz A-Class||14||1:43.361||3.319|
|16||52||M||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Yuasa Racing||Honda Civic Type R||14||1:43.784||3.742|
|17||303||Matt SIMPSON||Speedworks Motorsport||Honda Civic Type R||14||1:43.797||3.755|
|18||40||Árón SMITH||BKR||Volkswagen CC||17||1:43.813||3.771|
|19||4||M||Colin TURKINGTON||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||1:43.909||3.867|
|20||31||C||Jack GOFF||Team IHG Rewards Club||BMW 125i M Sport||14||1:44.339||4.297|
|21||77||Andrew JORDAN||Motorbase Performance||Ford Focus||17||1:44.394||4.352|
|22||17||Dan WELCH||Goodestone Racing||Proton Persona||18||1:44.413||4.371|
|23||53||Hunter ABBOTT||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||18||1:44.534||4.492|
|24||20||M||James COLE||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||19||1:44.542||4.500|
|25||99||M||Jason PLATO||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||13||1:44.553||4.511|
|26||95||Stewart LINES||Maximum Motorsport||Ford Focus||21||1:44.794||4.752|
|27||34||Tony GILHAM||TLC Racing||Toyota Avensis||14||1:44.937||4.895|
|28||38||Mark HOWARD||BKR||Volkswagen CC||19||1:45.137||5.095|
|29||84||Kelvin FLETCHER||Power Maxed Racing||Chevrolet Cruze||11||1:45.489||5.447|
|30||30||Martin DEPPER||Eurotech Racing||Honda Civic Type R||16||1:45.666||5.624|
|31||39||M||Warren SCOTT||Silverline Subaru BMR Racing||Subaru Levorg GT||16||1:46.431||6.389|