Alain Menu Tops Truncated First Snetterton Practice

BMR Racing showed their intent in the opening free practice outing of the sixth British Touring Car Championship meeting at Snetterton, Alain Menu topping the stop-start session with a 1-2 for the Volkswagen squad.

The damp conditions made action unpredictable early in proceedings at the 2.99-mile Norfolk circuit, the session stopped twice by red flags for both Robb Holland and Andrew Jordan.

Dave Newsham made his case for the AmdTuning squad by planting his Ford Focus ST at the head of the times for much of the session, the Inverness driver famously a winner at this this circuit in 2012 when driving an ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra.

The session took its first red flag stoppage when Holland’s Rotek Racing Audi stopped out on the track, the second half of the session seeing the four BMR Racing Volkswagen CC machines show their cards.

Jack Goff – converting from a Vauxhall Insignia to a Volkswagen for this weekend onwards – moved ahead of Newsham in the final 10 minutes to go fastest, before team-mate Menu snatched the honours away from him in the final six minutes with a time of 1m59.701s.

“It feels really good, I’m looking forward to it already”, Goff told The Checkered Flag of his new car. “I’ve had my first proper run out in the car now. It’s wet though which isn’t helping any of us at the moment.”

Famously crowned champion here in 1997, Menu’s place at the head of proceedings was confirmed when the session was brought to a halt for good by an accident for reigning champion Jordan at Riches, the Pirtek Racing Honda Civic taking the brunt of its rear-end impact.

Menu headed Goff by over half a second (0.543s), Tom Ingram next up for Speedworks Motorsport ahead of the unfortunate Jordan.

Gordon Shedden was next up for the Honda Yuasa Racing team ahead of James Cole in a solid sixth place for United Autosports. Newsham fell to seventh, Rob Austin, Warren Scott and Matt Neal completing the top 10.

Jason Plato and current championship leader, Colin Turkington, both did not set a competitive lap time, but ventured out onto the drying track to test the conditions.

Second practice gets underway at 12:00, and you can follow all the action with us at The Checkered Flag and on Twitter via @tcfBTCC.