Adam Morgan topped the opening practice session of the final Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship meeting of the 2015 season at Brands Hatch GP, although the Mercedes man was forced to stop on track in the final minutes.
The Ciceley Racing driver jumped to the head of the times during the second half of the 40-minute session, disposing of Jason Plato who held the early advantage.
Team BMR‘s Plato, just 23 points behind series leader Gordon Shedden heading into the final round, took to the track looking to make an early point and headed the way initially – just a second off lap record pace before a red flag interruption.
That was caused by the stricken AmD Tuning Audi S3 of Jake Hill, who endured a rough start to his first meeting of the 2015 season after spinning out at Graham Hill Bend.
On the restart, Morgan was the man who lowered his times most of all, his effort of 1m31.428s enough to top the times in first practice ahead of Plato by 0.169s
The Thruxton winner’s session ended in drama however, an electrical problem reportedly the cause for a late stoppage at Druids corner.
“It’s always difficult around here, so to put the car on top is brilliant”, Morgan said, adding that an electrical problem may have been the cause for him to pull over. “Hopefully that’s our bad luck done for the day!”
Mat Jackson‘s Motorbase Ford Focus was third quickest, the top five rounded out by Colin Turkington (Volkswagen) and Jack Goff (MG).
Behind the Triple Eight driver, top BMW was West Surrey Racing‘s Andy Priaulx – pole-sitter here in April – while Matt Neal (Honda), Andrew Jordan (MG), Aron Smith (Volkswagen) and championship leader Shedden (Honda) rounded out the top 10.
Alain Menu only completed one lap in his first practice session for Team BMR, the Swiss replacing Warren Scott this weekend in their bid to claim a possible four championship titles. A power steering problem ultimately ruined his session, occurring almost instantly as he entered the circuit.
Second practice gets underway at 12:45, and you can keep up with the action here at www.thecheckeredflag.co.uk, or via Twitter at @tcfBTCC.