Micheal Meadows landed the first blow of the 2012 Porsche Carrera Cup GB campaign, topping the series' test at Silverstone.
The Redline Racing driver topped both the morning and afternoon sessions on the National circuit, setting a startling pace in the afternoon session to lap the 1.64 mile track in 55.035 seconds, a second under 2011's pole position time and 1.8 faster than the lap record, both set by Nick Tandy during the final weekend of the season.
“We came here wanting to be quickest and we were,” said Meadows. “That's a great start to the season, but it is very close. Now we'll move on to Brands Hatch on Thursday and I think I owe the guys at Redline a beer.”
The series retains the now familiar three class system with drivers split between Pro, ProAm1 and ProAm2 categories. Of the 21 confirmed entries on the entry list released by series organisers 18 drivers ran during the day, the returning Glynn Geddie the highest profile driver missing as the British GT champion was out of the country.
With cold and damp conditions to start the day all 18 drivers set their best times in the afternoon session, Meadows' time led the way as the top five Pro drivers were split by just three tenths. Team Parker Racing's trio – Sam Tordoff, Richard Plant and Daniel Lloyd – filled out positions two to four. Ben Barker – returning for a full season in 2012 after running at Snetterton and Knockhill last term was fifth fastest. Lithuanian Jonas Gelziniz, moving into the Pro ranks after winning ProAm1 last year was eighth fastest, though just six tenths away from Meadows' pace.
ProAm1 pace setter Rory Butcher was sixth overall in his Celtic Speed run entry, a fraction of a second clear of Redline Racing driver Ahmad Al Harthy. Fellow ProAm1 driver Derek Pierce was ninth fastest, sportscar newcomer Victor Jiminez was 14th best overall as he got accustomed to the car, completing the second most laps of any driver on the day.
Keith Webster was tenth overall and the best of the ProAm2 contingent beating George Brewster, Yucel Ozbek, Tania Mann and Tautvydas Barstys.
The teams and drivers will next come together for the season opening races on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit on March 31-April 1.