Practice one for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Oulton Park has seen HMS Racing driver Rob Austin head the timesheets in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta for the first time since the Media Day test at Donington Park.
Austin was just a hundreth of a second ahead of former championship leader Tom Ingram in second who in turn was just a thousandth ahead of Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher driver Tom Chilton.
Andrew Jordan proved the pace of rear-wheel drive with no ballast as he puts his BMW Pirtek Racing 125i M Sport in fourth whilst the impressive Chris Smiley continued his great start to the season by placing his Honda Civic Type R in fifth.
Sixth came Matt Simpson who was sat in third near the start of the session ahead of Aiden Moffat in seventh and Brett Smith in eighth.
Team BMW man Colin Turkington who is the tip to have a strong weekend at Oulton Park had the pace to sit an ominous ninth whilst the final WIX Racing with Eurotech Honda of Jack Goff ended up tenth.
The two championship leaders of Adam Morgan and Josh Cook lined up nineteenth and seventeenth respectively, a possible side effect of the ballast that both drivers have to carry. If that’s the worst positions they are to sit in, they’ll be glad that it happened in practice and not in the all important qualifying.
The returning Dan Lloyd placed his BTC Norlin Racing Honda in twentieth.
Qualifying begins for the BTCC at 15:20 and can be watched at http://www.itv.com/btcc/qualifying-live