Donington BTCC: Honda lead the way in opening practice

Defending champion Gordon Shedden set the fastest time in the first British Touring Car Championship practice session at Donington Park.

Shedden edged out Honda teammate Matt Neal by eight-thousandths of a second, with Sam Tordoff just ahead of MG stablemate and early championship leader Jason Plato in third.

Andrew Jordan, fifth, had led the way for much of the first half of the session, while Frank Wrathall (ninth) also had a brief spell at the top.

Early impressions are the Toyotas look as strong as they did in the media day test, Adam Morgan three tenths off Shedden in sixth with Dave Newsham making it three different Toyota teams in the top ten in tenth – just half a second from the pace-setting Scot.

Colin Turkington, seventh, and Aron Smith, eighth, gave WSR and Motorbase encouragement respectively after the BMWs and Fords had a low-key opener at Brands Hatch.

Tom Onslow-Cole, running a newly-livered Volkswagen in homage to weekend title sponsor Rockstar Energy Drink, was 13ths – one second behind Shedden.