Tom Chilton quickest in morning BTCC test session at Thruxton

Tom Chilton quickest in morning BTCC test session at Thruxton

Photo: Ebrey/BTCC

Motorbase Performance’s Tom Chilton went beneath the qualifying lap record en route to the top of the timesheets in the British Touring Car Championships morning test session at Thruxton.

Over two-thirds of the 32-car field have made the journey to Hampshire ahead of the series’ visit on 19-20 May.

Chilton’s best time of 1:15.979s in the Ford Focus RS edges out Matt Neal’s lap record from 2016 by just over a tenth of a second.

Brands Hatch race winner Senna Proctor finished 0.130 seconds behind in second, with Power Maxed Racing team mate Josh Cook third in the sister Vauxhall Astra.

The 2.3 mile venue has been a happy hunting ground for Honda machinery in recent years, illustrated again with Dan Cammish in fourth behind the wheel of the new-for-2018 Honda Civic Type R FK8, and Brett Smith fifth for Eurotech in the hatchback-shaped model.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton was sixth in the fastest Team BMR Subaru Levorg, with decorated team mate Jason Plato in 21st and Josh Price only 22nd.

Dunlop ‘Forever Forward’ standings leader Mike Bushell was seventh in the only present Team.HARD Volkswagen CC, eclipsing the Mercedes-Benz A-class of Adam Morgan by a thousandth of a second.

BMW stablemates Andrew Jordan and Colin Turkington rounded out the top ten.

Aiden Moffat finished eleventh ahead of Chilton’s team mate James Cole, with the Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Rob Austin thirteenth.

Sam Tordoff overcame a flight cancellation from Yorkshire to cover the 250 mile journey to Thruxton this morning and was similarly rapid on-circuit, ending the session fourteenth in the GardX-backed Focus RS.

Matt Neal’s FK8 rounded out the top fifteen, with another session to follow this afternoon.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 21 1:15.979 0.000
2 18 Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 26 1:16.109 0.130
3 66 Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 23 1:16.147 0.168
4 27 Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 23 1:16.219 0.240
5 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 25 1:16.223 0.244
6 1 Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 20 1:16.375 0.396
7 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 16 1:16.562 0.583
8 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 24 1:16.563 0.584
9 77 Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 24 1:16.665 0.686
10 2 Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 22 1:16.688 0.709
11 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 24 1:16.839 0.860
12 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 25 1:16.939 0.960
13 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 20 1:16.951 0.972
14 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 23 1:16.977 0.998
15 25 Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 8 1:16.995 1.016
16 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 26 1:17.141 1.162
17 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 25 1:17.462 1.483
18 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 25 1:17.583 1.604
19 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 21 1:17.789 1.810
20 5 Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 26 1:17.808 1.829
21 99 Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 14 1:17.964 1.985
22 28 Josh PRICE Autoglym Academy Racing Subaru Levorg GT 19 1:18.314 2.335
23 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 21 1:18.805 2.826