Gordon Shedden tops the times at official BTCC Season Launch

British Touring Car Championship returnee Gordon Shedden topped the times in the official pre-season test at Silverstone today, as teams and drivers showed off their new cars and colours.

Shedden posted a time of 57.108 seconds around the Silverstone National circuit in the second session of the day, which proved to be good enough to top the overall times ahead of the new CUPRA of Jack Goff by 0.194 seconds.

The Scot put in the quickest time of all in the final minutes of the six hours of testing at the BTCC media day event, held behind closed doors once again due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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“That was a great day,” said Shedden. “We worked diligently through our programme and I gained more and more confidence in the car as the day went on.

“You never know what everyone else is doing during season launch, but to finish atop the times is mega. I’m definitely happy with that!”

Goff had earlier topped the morning session with a lap of 57.412 seconds, but the 30-year-old went even quicker in the afternoon to post a time of 57.302 seconds to end the day second quickest in his new Team HARD car.

“It’s been a good day – that’s the quickest I’ve ever been round Silverstone,” said Goff. “The nicest thing about this car compared to the VW is that when you make a small tweak, you can really feel the difference.

“I’m sure other teams have got more to come, so I’m keeping my feet firmly on the ground until Thruxton.

“I honestly still believe we’re aiming for top ten currently – that’s where I realistically want to be .”

Michael Crees was third quickest for BTC Racing in the second best Honda, just 0.005 seconds slower than Goff’s time in the afternoon.

In the end the top five times came in the afternoon session, when drivers were focussing on longer runs, with Tom Ingram putting his Excelr8 TradePriceCars racing Hyundai in fourth, 0.274 seconds off the ultimate pace.

Series returnee Jason Plato was an impressive fifth fastest in his Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, 0.377 seconds off the pace.

BMW’s Colin Turkington was the best of the drivers whose quickest lap came in the morning session, the Northern Irishman ending the day in sixth with his time of 57.531 seconds.

Reigning champion Ash Sutton was seventh fastest in his Infiniti, ahead of the best Ciceley Motorsport BMW of Adam Morgan in eighth.

The top ten was completed by Dan Lloyd’s PMR Vauxhall and Daniel Rowbottom’s Team Dynamics Honda.

11th fastest was BTC Racing’s Josh Cook, ahead of the best of the Ford Focus drivers in Ollie Jackson in 12th, 0.550 seconds off the pace.

26 of the 29 drivers who took part in the session were within a second of the pace, with only Nicolas Hamilton, Árón Taylor-Smith and Rick Parfitt slower than the one-second mark.

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