Colin Turkington sent out a warning to championship rival Jason Plato in first practice, as the two remaining Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title contenders topped a damp opening practice session at Brands Hatch.
The 2.3-mile GP circuit was hit by a downpour across the morning prior to first practice, although a smattering of sunshine soon brightened up the action for the day’s first 40-minute times session.
Championship leader Turkington – 50 points ahead in the title fight – emerged on top as times steadily improved while conditions dried out, Plato having held the early advantage.
Times dropped to an eventual 1m44.007s effort from Turkington, 0.213s ahead of his main rival by the flag.
Plato even lead a Triple Eight one-two for much of the early running, Sam Tordoff backing up his MG team-mate as the squad fight Honda for the Manufacturers’ Championship crown at Brands Hatch.
Andrew Jordan ended the session fourth overall for Pirtek Racing, chopping and changing his place with the Honda Civic Tourer of Gordon Shedden who ended up rounding out the top five.
Mat Jackson, fourth in the championship at the moment, was next up ahead of the lead BMR Racing Volkswagen of Jack Goff, the top 10 rounded out by Honda’s Matt Neal, AmD Tuning‘s Dave Newsham and BMR’s Alain Menu.
Rob Collard ventured out on track for the first time since his big accident at Silverstone, effectively using the session as a shakedown following West Surrey Racing‘s fine repair efforts to get the BMW 125i back out into action.
The session was halted early however by an off for Simon Belcher‘s Toyota Avensis at Druids, the same destination of Adam Morgan‘s excursion midway through the session.
Second practice gets underway at 12.40, and you can follow all the action with The Checkered Flag and on Twitter via @tcfBTCC.