Simpson heads wet-dry first practice at Snetterton

by Stuart Richards
Matt Simpson BTCC

First practice at Snetterton for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship has seen Matt Simpson head the times just as the chequered flag fell.

A downpour before the start of practice one saw it start under wet conditions. However, times fell throughout the session as the circuit dried and drivers switched to the slick tyres.

With a laptime of 1:56.783 set on his final flying lap, Simpson heads a practice session in 2018 for the second time after setting the pace in second practice at Oulton Park a few months ago.

Simpson was a front runner through most of the session and he enjoyed competition with the Volkswagen CC of Mike Bushell who ultimately ended the session in third.

Second went the way of another old-shape Honda Civic Type R runner in the form of BTC Norlin Racing driver Chris Smiley. Chris crashed the Simpson-Bushell top two battle with a competitive lap time in the last few minutes of the session.

The surprise top four was rounded out by the Mercedes-Benz of Tom Oliphant. He headed Andrew Jordan in fifth, Ollie Jackson in sixth and former championship leader Adam Morgan in seventh.

Rory Butcher in eighth headed current championship leader Colin Turkington whilst the Vauxhall Astra of Senna Proctor rounded out the top ten.

Other championship protagonists struggled in the conditions with Matt Neal ending the session in twenty-ninth, Tom Chilton in twenty-fourth and Tom Ingram twenty-eighth. Ingram had to stop on track due to technical issues that Speedworks Motorsport hope gets fixed in time before practice two and the two qualifying sessions later today.

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