Andrew Jordan will go into BTCC qualifying as the man to beat at Donington after topping Saturday’s second free practice session in a frantic final few minutes.
The Pirtek Racing driver – who topped the media day test here at this circuit earlier in the year – moved to the top of the times in those hectic final moments of the 40-minute session, smashing the time set by Gordon Shedden earlier in the day.
The pace improved in the afternoon session, and it was the KX Momentum Racing MG of Jason Plato that was the early pace-setter as he beat Shedden’s morning mark and even his own 2012 pole time with a 1m10.542s lap, before Jordan then arrived on the scene by sensationally matching that time to the nearest thousand of a second.
Shedden soon hit back and lowered that time to go fastest before the order all changed in the closing minutes, Jordan recording a 1m10.175s, to go to the top for the first time during the session.
He then went even quicker to send out a stern message to his opposition after taking pole at Brands Hatch, a 1m10.046s effort proving the practice-topping lap, while Plato’s last dash over the line netted him second from Shedden.
Fourth went the way of the second MG6 of Sam Tordoff, while Shedden’s Honda Yuasa Racing team-mate Matt Neal emerged from a quiet session in fifth place, 0.560s off the pace of Jordan.
The Speedworks Toyota team improved dramatically after a morning session that saw no less than three spins for Dave Newsham and Ollie Jackson, Newsham finishing sixth in the afternoon encounter to hint that the Toyota team could be an interloper this weekend.
Newsham beat fellow Avensis men Frank Wrathall and Adam Morgan ahead of the second Eurotech Honda Civic of Jeff Smith, while Aron Smith rounded out the top 10 in the Airwaves Ford.
Colin Turkington’s morning time was enough to see him finish ninth overall despite a less-entertaining afternoon session for the Irishman, while Team HARD’s Jack Goff finished 13th in the session as the Vauxhall Insignia showed improved pace.
The Jack Sears Trophy looks very competitive also going into qualifying, James Kaye again fastest and looking the current favourite in the S2000 class, 0.378s ahead of Liam Grffin’s Motorbase Ford.