A tightly-contested second practice session at Rockingham was topped by Dave Newsham, the Speedworks Toyota driver stealing an advantage heading into qualifying.
The 40-minute session was much more competitive than the previous encounter earlier in the morning, the top 11 cars separated by just under a second.
Sam Tordoff led for much of proceedings in the KX Momentum Racing MG6, his early benchmark time lasting until a late flurry of times saw a shake-up in the order.
Adam Morgan was the first man to knock Tordoff off the top spot, but that didn’t last long as a late surge from Mat Jackson soon altered the front-runners.
Jackson briefly went quickest before the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic of Jeff Smith lapped even quicker, Jackson returning the favour to move back to the head of the times with minutes remaining.
Then as the clock reached zero, Newsham stole the top spot away from Jackson with a time of 1m22.839s, the Speedworks driver going 0.259s quicker than nearest rival Tordoff.
“I was reeling off a big long list of how I cold improve the car”, enthused Newsham afterwards, “then the team told me I was quickest which was a shock!”
Tordoff improved late on in the session also to go second ahead of Jackson, Smith ending an impressive fourth ahead of Morgan.
Sixth went to Andrew Jordan in a race simulation-filled session for the front-runners, Nick Foster, Will Bratt, Gordon Shedden and Jason Plato rounding out the top 10.
Shedden’s session ended prematurely with mechanical problems during the last eight minutes, the reigning champion heading into qualifying with work to do.
Lea Wood again went quickest in the S2000 class ahead of Liam Griffin, David Nye rounding out the only three Jack Sears contenders present at Rockingham.
– Qualifying gets underway at 15:40 this afternoon, and you can follow all the action with us at thecheckeredflag.co.uk and on Twitter by tcfBTCC.