Josh Cook was quickest out of the blocks in the opening Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship free practice session at Brands Hatch GP.
The opening 40-minute session was hit by changeable conditions throughout, a light shower in the initial 20 minutes meaning drivers played it cautiously in their early ventures to the circuit.
As skies brightened in the latter half of proceedings, times began to change as slick tyres were wheeled back into action.
Ashley Sutton headed the times for much of the session with a best effort of 1m42.905s, initially leading a Triple Eight MG6 one-two ahead of team-mate Cook.
That time was bettered with by Adam Morgan with six minutes remaining, who in turn was knocked off the top spot by Team HARD‘s Jake Hill by 0.049s.
Times fell almost into the 1m39s barrier by the time the flag was waved, a late flurry of activity seeing Cook’s MG climb to the top spot with an effort of 1m40.042 to head the way in FP1.
Mat Jackson – one of eight drivers would could be champion on Sunday – was next up for Motorbase Performance, 0.366s adrift of Cook, while Rob Austin was third quickest ahead of the AmD Tuning Audi S3 of Ollie Jackson.
A winner here in the season opener, Tom Ingram rounded out the top five for Speedworks ahead of Michael Epps and the latter’s Team HARD team-mate, Hill. Morgan’s Mercedes A-Class was eighth, West Surrey Racing‘s Rob Collard and Eurotech Racing‘s Jeff Smith rounding out the top 10.
Sutton fell to 12th ahead of series leader, Sam Tordoff, while Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden finished 14th and 16th respectively for Halfords Yuasa Racing.