Tom Ingram set the pace as Toyota locked out the top two spots in Thursday’s official Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship Media Day test session at Donington Park.
The Speedworks Motorsport man topped the times with an effort of 1m09.995s during the four-hour test session at the Leicester circuit, the only driver to dip under the 1m10s bracket.
Ingram’s time was enough to pip fellow Toyota Avensis rival Rob Austin to the top spot by a mere 0.114s, bettering the 2016 equivalent time set by Ashley Sutton from the same session 12 months ago by a similar cushion of over a tenth of a second.
Behind the Avensis pairing, Northern Irishman Chris Smiley shone for the returning BTC Norlin Racing outfit, less than two tenths adrift in third with the Chevrolet Cruze.
Adam Morgan was next up in the re-liveried Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes-Benz A-Class, while Jack Goff rounded out the top five for Eurotech Racing ahead of Aiden Moffat in the second Mercedes.
Team HARD’s Michael Epps finished seventh ahead of returning BTCC race winner, Tom Chilton, the Power Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra enjoying a reliable outing at Donington Park.
Dave Newsham endured brake problems early in the session but still added a second BTC Norlin Cruze to the top 10 classification, rounded out by the AmDtuning Audi S3 of Ollie Jackson.
Reigning champion Gordon Shedden was 11th in the Team Dynamics Honda Civic Type-R, former champion Colin Turkington 13th on his return to West Surrey Racing ahead of the second Team Dynamics Civic of Matt Neal.
Jason Plato ended 17th in the best of the Team BMR Subaru Levorgs, 30 cars taking to the circuit on Thursday afternoon from the 32 projected for the 2017 season.
A number of stoppages truncated proceedings, Luke Davenport‘s Shredded Wheat-backed Motorbase Ford Focus finding the kitty litter at Old Hairpin while Will Burns and Matt Simpson both endured excursions themselves – the latter having suffered a heavy testing crash in Spain recently as a result of a brake problem.
BTCC Media Day – testing results:
1) Tom Ingram (Speedworks Motorsport) 1m09.995s (101.78 mph)
2) Rob Austin (Handy Motorsport) +0.114s
3) Chris Smiley (BTC Norlin Racing) +0.198s
4) Adam Morgan (Ciceley Motorsport) +0.202s
5) Jack Goff (Eurotech Racing) +0.251s
6) Aiden Moffat (Laser Tools Racing) +0.352s
7) Michael Epps (Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing) +0.612s
8) Tom Chilton (Power Maxed Racing) +0.663s
9) Dave Newsham (BTC Norlin Racing) +0.682s
10) Ollie Jackson (AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts) +0.737s
11) Gordon Shedden (Halfords Yuasa Racing) +0.765s
12) Rob Collard (Team BMW) +0.781s
13) Colin Turkington (Team BMW) +0.807s
14) Matt Neal (Halfords Yuasa Racing) +0.820s
15) Mat Jackson (Team Shredded Wheat with Duo) +0.878s
16) Stephen Jelley (Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport) +0.914s
17) Jason Plato (Adrian Flux Subaru Racing) +0.948s
18) Jake Hill (TAG Racing) +0.988s
19) James Cole (Adrian Flux Subaru Racing) +1.062s
20) Will Burns (Autoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing) +1.076s
21) Andrew Jordan (BMW Pirtek Racing) +1.178s
22) Aron Taylor-Smith (MG Racing RCIB Insurance) +1.258s
23) Senna Proctor (Power Maxed Racing) +1.260s
24) Martin Depper (Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo) +1.263s
25) Ashley Sutton (Adrian Flux Subaru Racing) +1.311s
26) Daniel Lloyd (MG Racing RCIB Insurance) +1.322s
27) Josh Cook (Team Parker with Maximum Motorsport) +1.383s
28) Ant Whorton-Eales (AmDtuning.com with Cobra Exhausts) +1.408s
29) Luke Davenport (Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Duo) +1.540s
30) Matt Simpson (Simpson Racing) +1.812s