Andrew Jordan will take the psychological lead into the qualifying session for the first weekend of the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) after setting the best time in the series' second 40 minute practice session at Brands Hatch.
22-year-old Jordan led much of the session in his brand new Pirtek Racing Honda Civic, leading Matt Neal's works run example. After spending the first practice some way off the pace the new NGTC cars were up to speed for the second session. Neal was second, and Jason Plato in the MG KX Momentum Racing MG6 ended the session fifth fastest, having been as high as third best before others improved in the second half of the session. Furthermore the double champion featured among the fastest men clocked through the Indy circuit's two speed traps.
The rear-wheel- drive machines that dominated the earlier practice fell back into the pack, but only slightly, Rob Austin and Tom Onslow–Cole pushing Plato down to fifth in the second half of the session.
P1 pacesetter Rob Collard was ninth, with Nick Foster tenth in the third eBay Motors car, the BMW team's push for pace illustrated by the fact that Foster and Onslow-Cole were among the most persistently warned for strayed outside of track limits, and all three cars were visibly sideways on the exit of Graham Hill Bend.
Mat Jackson and Aron Smith were both inside the top ten for Redstone Racing, BTCC newcomer Smith just 0.155 seconds down on his team leader, who is expected to challenge for the title once again this term. Jordan's teammate Jeff Smith made it three NGTC Civics in the top ten, though Gordon Shedden in the fourth car continued to be plagued by electrical problems causing the car to cut out.
After stopping on track twice in the first session, the no.52 cut out once more on the Scot's exploration lap, limiting his to just a pair of laps during the session.
Others to hit problems during the session were Ollie Jackson, who went off again in the AmD Tuning.com VW and Dave Newsham, who had a wheel bearing issue and only completed seven laps in his Team ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra.
Qualifying for the BTCC takes place at 3:20pm, streamed on the ITV Sport website.