Morgan Tops Mercedes 1-2 in Brands Hatch Free Practice 1

Credit: BTCC Media

Adam Morgan set the pace in the opening free practice session of the British Touring Car Championship finale at Brands Hatch, going two tenths quicker than fellow Mercedes privateer Aiden Moffat.

The pair were trading quickest times from the very beginning of the session, with many of the works drivers electing to stay in their garages until around halfway through the session.

Morgan left it late to go quickest though, popping up with a 1:31.698 with only a minute remaining in the session. Behind him and Moffat was Brett Smith, with the leading trio the only drivers to break the 1:31 barrier during the 40 minutes of running.

Another driver to leave it late was Aron Taylor-Smith, putting himself fourth quickest with only two minutes to go and ending up the fastest of the factory-backed cars.

Tom Ingram put in the fifth quickest time, though his running was limited compared to the rest of the field. Complaining of an odd noise coming from the gearbox casing of his Toyota Avensis, his Speedworks Motorsport team pulled him into the garage to give it a once-over before resuming later in the session.

Behind the top five, the times were tight, with 6th to 21st covered by less than six tenths of a second. Leading the pack was Mat Jackson, whose Ford Fiesta is relatively lightweight thanks to minimal ballast. The Motorbase driver has three wins in the past two years at Brands Hatch, making him one to watch for the rest of the weekend.

There were no reported issues for the two championship contenders in FP1, Ashley Sutton going half a second off Morgan’s pace in ninth while Colin Turkington was fifteenth quickest, two tenths slower than Sutton.

1Adam MorganCiceley Motorsport1:31.69820
2Aiden MoffatLaser Tools Racing+0.22519
3Brett SmithEurotech Racing+0.29319
4Aron Taylor-SmithMG Racing RCIB InsuranceM+0.31817
5Tom IngramSpeedworks Motorsport+0.32410
6Mat JacksonMotorbase Performance+0.42415
7Gordon SheddenHalfords Yuasa RacingM+0.45216
8Dave NewshamBTC Norlin Racing+0.47819
9Ashley SuttonAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.50514
10Andrew JordanBMW Pirtek RacingM+0.57416
11Mike EppsAutoaid/RCIB Insurance Racing+0.57618
12Rob AustinHandy Motorsport+0.63719
13Jason PlatoAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.68116
14Rory ButcherMotorbase Performance+0.70519
15Colin TurkingtonTeam BMWM+0.71816
16Jack GoffEurotech Racing+0.80620
17James ColeAdrian Flux Subaru RacingM+0.82419
18Matt SimpsonSimpson RacingM+0.83320
19Senna ProctorPower Maxed RacingM+0.95715
20Jake HillTAG Racing+0.97816