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BTCC

Mat Jackson Leads BTCC Field In Season’s Final Practice Session

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Mat Jackson, Silverstone (Photo Credit: btcc.net)

Mat Jackson, Silverstone (Photo Credit: btcc.net)

The second practice session for the British Touring Car Championship field saw faster time in general with nine drivers squeezing under the minute mark compared to just two in the opening session.

Despite the improved times, and the variety of plans being worked through up and down the pitlane before qualifying in the afternoon, it was largely the same names that recorded the fastest times from the first session to the second.

Mat Jackson – second in the opening session went one place and three tenths of a second better to lead the second session, though he was just eight-thousandths faster than SEAT driver Dave Newsham, one of the new names to the top of the times in the second forty minute session.

The adoptive Scotsman had set the fastest time with 13 minutes of the session remaining with a lap of 59.635 around the 1.64 mile Silverstone National circuit.

The second was a successful one for the Special Tuning outfit as Newsham's teammate Tom Boardman finished fifth fastest. Splitting the two Leons were the two Honda Civics, Gordon Shedden eight-thousandths clear of Matt Neal.

The two teammates, who are both championship contenders at this final weekend of BTCC competition for 2011, swapped best overall earlier in the first ten minutes of the session, Shedden the first man to record a time in the 59 second bracket, before Mat Jackson went quicker (with 59.700, a time he later bettered).

Tom Chilton, the quickest man in the opening practice was quick again, ending up 0.189 shy of Jackson's time, but in sixth place behind Boardman.

Andy Neate, James Nash, Tom OnslowCole and Ollie Jackson completed the top ten. After keeping pace with both Hondas in the earlier practice Jason Plato struggled in the second session. One of very few drivers not to improve on the FP1 time, though only by two-hundreths the defending champion ended the session only thirteenth fastest. James Thompson, on his BTCC return in the third Airwaves Racing Focus, was fifteenth.

The session was also notable for the number of drivers that were given warnings for exceeding track boundaries – most for running wide onto the tarmac run-off at Copse. More than two-thirds of the grid were given specific warnings, suggesting that harsher penalties lie in wait for any drivers who continue to run wide in qualifying and throughout tomorrow's racing.

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