Andy Priaulx left it late to go fastest in the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship’s first free practice session at Snetterton.
West Surrey Racing picked up from where they left off at Croft seemingly as the lengthy BTCC summer break concluded on Saturday morning, Priaulx’s last run good enough to pip Jason Plato by 0.055s as the flag waved to end the 40-minute session.
Priaulx, who won race one at Croft in June, turned two more laps then Team BMR‘s Plato, the latter having topped much of the session in the newly-liveried Volkswagen CC.
Third spot went to Honda Yuasa Racing‘s Matt Neal, the top three covered by just 0.089s at the Norfolk circuit under sunny skies.
Five different makes were present in the top six spots, Aron Smith‘s Volkswagen fourth ahead of Jack Goff‘s Triple Eight MG and the returning Ford Focus ST of Motorbase and Mat Jackson, which also topped the speed traps of free practice one.
Championship leader by 10 points, Gordon Shedden showed that maximum ballast was not too much of a hindrance in seventh spot, the top 10 rounded out by BMR’s Colin Turkington, the chrome-liveried MG of Andrew Jordan and Rob Collard‘s WSR BMW.
AmDTuning had reason to smile also with 11th spot for Mike Bushell‘s Ford Focus, while Croft star Sam Tordoff had a less fruitful session down in 21st overall for WSR.
The session was run relatively untroubled, the only drama coming the way of Kieran Gallagher who was forced to stop out on track at Montreal in the Team HARD Toyota Avensis.
Barry Horne, called up for Team Parker Racing in the morning to drive their Ford Focus in place of the absent Alex Martin, ended his first practice session without serious drama, 6.7s off the pace as he got to grips with BTCC machinery.
FP2 gets underway at 12:10, and you can keep up with the action here at www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk, or via Twitter at @tcfBTCC.