Matt Simpson sets the pace in drying first practice at Snetterton

Matt Simpson sets the pace in drying first practice at Snetterton

Matt Simpson
Photo: PSP Images

Matt Simpson put in a late lap to set the fastest time in first practice for the British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton, after a rain shower before the session saw lap times tumble throughout.

A heavy shower just before the session began meant the track was wet to begin with, and correspondingly the early lap times were well into the two minutes, with Eurotech’s Simpson having been near the top of the times within the first ten minutes, before going fastest ten minutes in.

The times continued to fall as the track dried out under the emerging full sunshine, with the Team HARD Volkswagens and AmD Tuning’s MG and Audi runners occupying the top of the timesheets.

In the end it was Simpson who went fastest in the final seconds with a lap of 1 minute 56.783 seconds – just over a second off the qualifying lap record – ahead of BTC Norlin’s Chris Smiley, 0.054 seconds further back after a late effort of his own.

Team HARD’s Mike Bushell ended up in third, despite having been at the top of the times approaching the end of the session, with a time that was 0.154 seconds slower than Simpson.

Ciceley Motorsport’s Tom Oliphant was fourth fastest, ahead of the leading BMW of Andrew Jordan in fifth, three and a half tenths off the pace.

AmD Audi runner Ollie Jackson was sixth, ahead of the second Ciceley Mercedes of Adam Morgan in seventh and the AmD MG of Rory Butcher in eighth.

BMW’s Colin Turkington and Power Maxed Racing’s Senna Proctor completed the top ten, despite the latter having made contact with Vauxhall team-mate Josh Cook on his out-lap during the session.

The top ten drivers were covered by less than a second, with 11th placed James Cole, the leading Motorbase driver, 1.2 seconds off the pace.

Ash Sutton was the leading Subaru driver in 18th, over three seconds off the pace, whilst team-mate Jason Plato failed to put in a time on the drier circuit, ending up in 30th.

A number of other leading drivers failed to get times in on the drying circuit, including the Honda duo of Dan Cammish and Matt Neal, who were 23rd and 29th, 14.4 and 26 seconds off the pace respectively, and Tom Ingram, who was 28th.

Second practice is scheduled to begin at 12:10 BST.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 303 Matt SIMPSON Simpson Racing Honda Civic Type R 13 1:56.783 0.000
2 22 Chris SMILEY BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 14 1:56.837 0.054
3 21 Mike BUSHELL Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 15 1:56.937 0.154
4 15 Tom OLIPHANT Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 13 1:57.112 0.329
5 77 Andrew JORDAN BMW Pirtek Racing BMW 125i M Sport 11 1:57.139 0.356
6 48 Ollie JACKSON AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 10 1:57.186 0.403
7 33 Adam MORGAN MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class 11 1:57.305 0.522
8 6 Rory BUTCHER AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 13 1:57.340 0.557
9 2 Colin TURKINGTON Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 14 1:57.425 0.642
10 18 Senna PROCTOR Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 10 1:57.557 0.774
11 20 James COLE Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 12 1:58.065 1.282
12 5 Rob COLLARD Team BMW BMW 125i M Sport 11 1:58.109 1.326
13 31 Jack GOFF WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 10 1:58.215 1.432
14 44 Michael CAINE Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 11 1:58.828 2.045
15 600 Sam TORDOFF Team GardX Racing with Motorbase Ford Focus RS 10 1:58.958 2.175
16 26 Daniel LLOYD BTC Norlin Racing Honda Civic Type R 9 1:59.192 2.409
17 10 Ant WHORTON-EALES AmD with AutoAid / RCIB Insurance Racing MG 6 8 1:59.500 2.717
18 1 Ashley SUTTON Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 10 1:59.864 3.081
19 60 Stephen JELLEY Team Parker Racing BMW 125i M Sport 9 2:00.139 3.356
20 24 Dan WELCH Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing Volkswagen CC 7 2:01.479 4.696
21 19 Bobby THOMPSON Team HARD. with Trade Price Cars Volkswagen CC 6 2:03.522 6.739
22 23 Sam SMELT AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 12 2:04.600 7.817
23 27 Dan CAMMISH Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 9 2:11.194 14.411
24 3 Tom CHILTON Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford Focus RS 10 2:11.724 14.941
25 16 Aiden MOFFAT Laser Tools Racing Mercedes-Benz A-Class 9 2:12.476 15.693
26 39 Brett SMITH WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda Civic Type R 8 2:15.948 19.165
27 11 Rob AUSTIN DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta 8 2:18.287 21.504
28 80 Tom INGRAM Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Avensis 5 2:20.968 24.185
29 25 Matt NEAL Halfords Yuasa Racing Honda Civic Type R 9 2:22.786 26.003
30 99 Jason PLATO Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Subaru Levorg GT 10 2:23.441 26.658
31 66 Josh COOK Power Maxed TAG Racing Vauxhall Astra 0 No time N/A