Toyota’s Rory Butcher set the pace in the first British Touring Car Championship practice session at Silverstone, pipping Excelr8 Motorsport’s Chris Smiley in the final minutes of the session.
Smiely had put his Hyundai on top of the times inside the opening ten minutes with a lap of 57.838 seconds, with the Northern Irishman subsequently improving three times after that, settling on a lap of 57.488 seconds.
That lap for the Hyundai driver then stood for the next 23 minutes, until Butcher posted the session’s benchmark time of 57.478 seconds with just under four minutes to go.
Smiley thus ended up a mere 0.010 seconds behind Butcher, with Laser tools Racing’s Aiden Moffat third fastest, 0.146 seconds adrift, the Infiniti driver also gaining a few places in the final minutes.
Championship leader Ash Sutton was directly behind his team-mate in fourth, two tenths off the pace.
Excelr8 Motorsport’s Tom Ingram, who says losing success ballast going into this weekend could be a ‘blessing in disguise’ was fifth fastest in his Hyundai, 0.247 seconds off the pace in a marked improvement on his form from last weekend, at a venue where he has historically performed well.
BTC Racing’s Josh Cook was the leading Honda driver in sixth, ahead of Team Dynamics’ Daniel Rowbottom in seventh.
For the second meeting in a row, Toyota’s Sam Smelt made it into the top ten in practice and was eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by Team HARD’s Jack Goff and Team Dynamics’ Gordon Shedden.
Notably, none of the WSR BMW drivers made it into the top ten, with Stephen Jelley the best-placed Team BMW driver in 12th, one place behind the Ciceley Motorsport BMW of Tom Chilton and just under half a second off the pace.
Colin Turkington was only 25th, eight tenths off the pace, and slower than Andrew Jordan, who was 22nd, in the BTCC Hybrid, which is taking part in this weekend’s event as an ‘invisible’ entrant.
Second practice is scheduled to get underway at 12:05 BST, followed by qualifying at 14:50 BST.
|1||6||Rory BUTCHER||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||20||57.478||–|
|2||22||Chris SMILEY||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||27||57.488||0.010|
|3||16||Aiden MOFFAT||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||32||57.624||0.146|
|4||1||Ashley SUTTON||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||26||57.695||0.217|
|5||80||Tom INGRAM||Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||24||57.725||0.247|
|6||66||Josh COOK||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||25||57.748||0.270|
|7||32||Daniel ROWBOTTOM||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||21||57.780||0.302|
|8||23||Sam SMELT||Toyota Gazoo Racing UK||Toyota Corolla GR Sport||32||57.792||0.314|
|9||31||Jack GOFF||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||26||57.879||0.401|
|10||52||Gordon SHEDDEN||Halfords Racing with Cataclean||Honda Civic Type-R||26||57.882||0.404|
|11||3||Tom CHILTON||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||25||57.941||0.463|
|12||12||Stephen JELLEY||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||26||57.975||0.497|
|13||96||Jack BUTEL||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||22||57.986||0.508|
|14||11||Jason PLATO||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||21||58.023||0.545|
|15||123||Daniel LLOYD||Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing||Vauxhall Astra||20||58.052||0.574|
|16||33||Adam MORGAN||Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport||BMW 330i M Sport||19||58.103||0.625|
|17||18||Senna PROCTOR||BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||19||58.104||0.626|
|18||15||Tom OLIPHANT||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||31||58.135||0.657|
|19||40||Árón TAYLOR-SMITH||Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions||CUPRA Leon||21||58.182||0.704|
|20||4||Sam OSBORNE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||25||58.194||0.716|
|21||48||Ollie JACKSON||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||25||58.204||0.726|
|22||2022||Andrew JORDAN||–||Toyota Corolla BTCC Hybrid||15||58.228||0.750|
|23||41||Carl BOARDLEY||Laser Tools Racing||Infiniti Q50||27||58.247||0.769|
|24||24||Jake HILL||MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square||Ford Focus ST||25||58.292||0.814|
|25||2||Colin TURKINGTON||Team BMW||BMW 330i M Sport||24||58.306||0.828|
|26||62||Rick PARFITT Jr||EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com||Hyundai i30 Fastback N||25||58.325||0.847|
|27||19||Jack MITCHELL||Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct||CUPRA Leon||25||58.342||0.864|
|28||99||Jade EDWARDS||PHSC with BTC Racing||Honda Civic Type-R||27||58.386||0.908|
|29||44||Andy NEATE||Racing with Wera & Photon Group||Ford Focus ST||26||58.449||0.971|
|30||28||Nicolas HAMILTON||ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading||CUPRA Leon||26||58.527||1.049|