Jason Plato sent out an early message at Silverstone by setting the pace in Saturday morning’s opening practice session for the penultimate meeting of the 2014 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season.
The initial pace in the session was set by his Triple Eight team-mate, Sam Tordoff, who was the first man to break under the one minute barrier of the 40-minute practice session.
Tordoff held the advantage for much of the opening half of proceedings, before the BMR Racing squad began to up the pace with Aron Smith swiftly moving to the top of the times in the Volkswagen CC.
Gordon Shedden defied his qualms that Honda would be off the pace at the Silverstone circuit, leaping to the head of the times before Plato made his move to the top with an ultimate best of 58.614s.
That time remained top for the rest of proceedings, Shedden second while championship leader, Colin Turkington, ensured the top three in the standings locked out the top three spots.
Fourth place went the way of Smith ahead of team-mate Alain Menu, the top 10 rounded out by Tordoff, Adam Morgan, Mat Jackson, Warren Scott, and Matt Neal – the latter part of a separate story earlier in the morning.
In a hugely tight session around the 1.64-mile national circuit, the top 20 cars were covered by less than a second, down to Speedworks Motorsport’s Tom Ingram who was 0.955 off the pace.
The times were initially a mixed bag of results, as Dan Welch had popped up to as high as second place in the Proton Gen-2, only to finish the morning session down in 29th.
Hunter Abbott did not complete a single lap in the session however, mechanical problems with his Audi keeping him in the garage for the entirety of the 40 minutes.
Second practice gets underway at 12.25, and you can follow all the action with The Checkered Flag and on Twitter via @tcfBTCC.