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BTCC

Rob Austin Fastest In Second Practice To Continue NGTC Form

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Rob Austin (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

Rob Austin (Photo Credit: Chris Gurton Photography)

After Frank Wrathall topped the opening session Rob Austin again showed the pace of the NGTC spec cars by comfortably pacing the second practice session at Rockingham.

Austin lapped the 1.94mile Rockingham track in 1:23.793 with just over half of the 40 minute duration to go. While the Audi driver's time stood as fastest for the remainder of the session the opening 16 minutes of the session had seen the honour of the best time change hands several times.

Mat Jackson was the first man to top the timesheets with a competitive lap time – though it was down in the 1:25 bracket – before Tom OnslowCole and James Nash both took turns at the top of the leaderboard before Gordon Shedden went fastest with a 1:24.517 lap.

It was the championship leader's time that Austin eclipsed by over seven tenths.

Unlike the opening session several drivers moved up the order in the closing minutes. James Nash moved into second and Dave Newsham seventh before Jason Plato completed a lap in a time of 1:24.265 on a final lap finishing beneath the chequered flag to claim the second fastest time once more.

Plato, and teammate Alex MacDowall, had struggled for speed for most of the session – MacDowall languishing outside the top 20 for much of the session. However, both improved their times in the closing minutes, MacDowall ending the session twelfth in the midst of a tightly packed group of seven cars shoe-horned into seven hundreths of a second worth of lap time. The group included Newsham, outpacing teammate Tom Boardman and Matt Neal eighth fastest.

Practice one pace setter Frank Wrathall set the fifth fastest time.

Team Aon had a mixed session. Tom OnslowCole ended the session ninth, surviving a lurid slide around the left-hander at Gracelands. Andy Neate finished eleventh while Tom Chilton managed only nine laps before calling an end to his session, taking a cautious approach after reporting a minor technical problem.

Lea Wood didn't take any part in the session, a legacy of the engine problem ended his participation in the first practice early.

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James is our Diet-Coke fuelled writer and has been with TCF pretty much since day 1, he can be found frequenting twitter at @_JBroomhead
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