Jason Plato set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the Oulton Park weekend of the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship, with a 1:25.671 beating his own track record from 2013 by almost half a second.
“We were still slower than we have been in testing,” said Plato. “I love this place – it’s a circuit which I just feel in the groove with and part of it. It’s a lovely place to be when you’re in tune. Over the years we’ve really learned what the car needs to feel like and what we need to do with set-up to make it work around here. You get no points for free practice, you do get one for pole and that’s what we want. It’s still early days though, we’ve seen it before where I come out of the blocks shouting while the others wake up, but they will wake up.”
At first, it was Plato’s Team BMR teammate Aron Smith who was fastest, who was trading places with the Rob Collard of West Surrey Racing. Soon after, Andrew Jordan of MG Triple Eight Racing joined the battle.
Lap times were getting faster and faster throughout the session, with Collard unable to maintain his position and ending up finishing 18th. Plato then set his best time, with the rest contending for second place, over 0.6 seconds off the leader’s pace.
At the end of the session, Speedworks Motorsport‘s Tom Ingram slotted in behind Plato, followed by Jordan and Smith. Rounding out the top five was a third BMR Volkswagen CC, this time of 2014 champion Colin Turkington. Next was the second MG6 of Jack Goff, followed by Andy Priaulx, who will be hoping for better results considering the BMW’s pace at last year’s meeting.
Free practice 2 gets underway at 12:45 until 13:25.