Jason Plato topped the times in a close opening practice session ahead of Subaru team-mate Ashley Sutton, while series rookies Senna Proctor and Brett Smith both broke into the top five.
Plato explained – somewhat jokingly – at the end of the session his efforts were hampered by pain in his knee, though it appeared to make little impact on his speed at the wheel.
“I sound like an old man, but I don’t know what I’ve done, I’ve done something to my knee!” said Plato at the end of the session. “I’m walking like a hobbling old git. It’s not so bad in the car. A bit of pain is nice actually, it pushes you on.”
Despite going quickest, Plato was less than enthusiastic about his prospects for the remainder of the weekend.
“We’re going to struggle on the straight. We’ve had our engines turned down again. I don’t understand it. We’ll make our laptime up in the corners. We’re going to struggle a bit in the race as we don’t have enough grunt.”
Mike Epps set the pace for much of the session until the Subaru pair were able to break into the 1:05s, leaivng Epps to settle for third fastest on 1:06.003.
Both Proctor and Smith popped up late in the session to go fourth and fifth quickest, ahead of the factory cars of Matt Neal and Rob Collard.
Colin Turkington was able to go tenth quickest despite technical issues with his West Surrey Racing BMW. Coming to a halt at Luffield early in the session, he was able to return to pit-lane entry before being pushed back to his garage for a quick fix before resuming.
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