Andrew Jordan put a halt to Jason Plato‘s stranglehold on Saturday’s BTCC action at Oulton Park by snatching the quickest time by the tiniest of margins in second practice.
The Eurotech Honda driver had seen himself fall from second place to sixth with just a minute left on the clock in the second 40-minute session of the day prior to qualifying, but saved his best lap till last as a fastest first sector set up the quickest lap that beat MG’s Plato by 0.039s.
Plato had played it cautiously having not set a flying lap for almost half the session, only to ominously go almost half a second ahead of erstwhile leader Matt Neal with the only sub-1m27s lap at the time on his first proper hot lap.
The effort looked set to stay at the top of the timesheets despite the best efforts of reigning champion Gordon Shedden, until Independent champion Jordan’s last-gasp 1m26.605s lap spoiled the Triple Eight man’s party, the top three drivers separated by a mere 0.096s at the flag.
Colin Turkington put in an energetic 22-lap shift, the eBay Motors BMW driver finishing fourth as the last driver under the 1m27s barrier, Sam Tordoff next up in fifth after bumping Neal down to sixth with a late effort.
The session also showed positives signs for Toyota that their recent tests may be paying off, Dave Newsham‘s Speedworks Avensis seventh ahead of Dynojet’s Frank Wrathall, while late surges from Motorbase Ford’s Mat Jackson and BMW’s Rob Collard brought them into the top 10.
Just outside that top 10 were Adam Morgan and Ollie Jackson in their Toyotas after troubling the top seven during the session, while Jeff Smith‘s repaired Eurotech Honda finished 15th having set 21 untroubled laps.
The Jack Sears Trophy looks set to be a dogfight in qualifying between Liam Griffin and Lea Wood, Motorbase Ford’s Griffin finishing 22nd and 0.041s ahead of his Central Vauxhall Vectra rival in the second session.
Qualifying gets underway at 3:15, and you can follow the action with us on Twitter at tcfBTCC.