Rory Butcher gave Toyota Gazoo Racing UK the top time in the first British Touring Car Championship practice session at Croft, as a late effort denied Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden the early bragging rights.
Shedden had posted the fastest lap of the 40-minute session with just under 14 minutes remaining, the Scot putting in a lap of 1 minute 22.403 seconds.
However, in the final seconds, after the chequered flag was waved, it was Butcher who claimed the top spot, going 0.128 seconds faster than his fellow Scot.
Butcher, 34, had earlier in the week revealed he was in a confident mood for Croft, as he seeks to close in on the title fight.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor put his Honda in third, two tenths off the pace, ahead of MB Motorsport’s Jake Hill in fourth. Hill had earlier hit the top of the times just after the halfway stage of the session with his effort of 1:22.511, which the Ford driver didn’t improve on thereafter.
Sam Smelt made it two Toyotas in the top five with his best practice performance of the season, just 0.255 seconds slower than his more experienced team-mate.
Championship contender Josh Cook was sixth in his BTC Racing Honda, ahead of the leading BMW of Tom Oliphant in seventh.
A late improvement from Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton put him in eighth, with the top ten being completed by Team Dynamics’ Daniel Rowbottom and Excelr8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, who was the leading Hyundai driver.
Colin Turkington was just 12th in his BMW, almost four tenths off the pace at a circuit which was traditionally been strong for the rear-wheel drive cars.
The top 24 drivers were covered by exactly one second.
Second practice is scheduled to get underway at 12:05 BST.
|1||6||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||17||1:22.275||–|
|2||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||19||1:22.403||0.128|
|3||18||Senna PROCTOR||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||17||1:22.494||0.219|
|4||24||Jake HILL||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||19||1:22.511||0.236|
|5||23||Sam SMELT||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||20||1:22.530||0.255|
|6||66||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||18||1:22.539||0.264|
|7||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||18||1:22.598||0.323|
|8||1||Ashley SUTTON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||20||1:22.603||0.328|
|9||32||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||18||1:22.614||0.339|
|10||80||Tom INGRAM||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||1:22.654||0.379|
|11||3||Tom CHILTON||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||18||1:22.665||0.390|
|12||2||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||20||1:22.673||0.398|
|13||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||21||1:22.675||0.400|
|14||123||Daniel LLOYD||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||18||1:22.821||0.546|
|15||22||Chris SMILEY||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||17||1:22.872||0.597|
|16||12||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||19||1:22.959||0.684|
|17||40||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions||CUPRA Leon||19||1:22.966||0.691|
|18||4||Sam OSBORNE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||19||1:23.027||0.752|
|19||48||Ollie JACKSON||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||16||1:23.064||0.789|
|20||11||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||16||1:23.066||0.791|
|21||41||Carl BOARDLEY||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||17||1:23.121||0.846|
|22||31||Jack GOFF||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||17||1:23.195||0.920|
|23||33||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||18||1:23.201||0.926|
|24||19||Jack MITCHELL||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||21||1:23.275||1.000|
|25||44||Andy NEATE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||19||1:23.703||1.428|
|26||96||Jack BUTEL||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||18||1:24.065||1.790|
|27||28||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading||CUPRA Leon||16||1:24.164||1.889|
|28||99||Jade EDWARDS||PHSC with BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||7||1:25.666||3.391|
|29||42||Nick HALSTEAD||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||19||1:26.166||3.891|