Practice for this weekend at Donington Park for the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship saw drivers faced with incredibly tricky conditions which may impact preparation for qualifying later today.
Andrew Jordan for BMW Pirtek Racing headed first practice where light rain fell onto the circuit for the whole duration of the session. Jordan’s fastest time was just five hundredths of a second faster than the Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Levorg GT of Ashley Sutton in second.
Sutton will no doubt be aiming for two consecutive pole positions later this afternoon.
Two stoppages affected running when high winds blew a tyre stack onto the circuit and crews had to retrieve it, and when Nicolas Hamilton went off at Redgate in his Ford Focus RS.
Third went to Dan Cammish who is looking to bounce back after a relatively disappointing weekend at Brands Hatch. Dan was ahead of Tom Ingram in fourth, Colin Turkington in fifth and the revitalised Jason Plato in sixth.
Chris Smiley managed the conditions well to take seventh ahead of the Cobra Sport AmD with AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Racing duo of Rory Butcher and Sam Tordoff in eighth and ninth respectively. Jack Goff was impressive in his Volkswagen CC to round out the top ten.
With conditions remaining wet at the start of second practice, most drivers were expecting a repeat of the first session and the new wet Dunlop tyres were getting plenty of mileage.
However, in the final five minutes. A dry line begun to show and times started to tumble through the field. Chris Smiley benefitted to top second practice when he pipped Adam Morgan just as the session came to a close.
Adam Morgan has been struggling in the damp conditions but when the track begins to dry it seems his MAC Tools with Ciceley Motorsport Mercedes Benz A-Class becomes an entirely different beast.
Third went to Butcher ahead of Goff in fourth, Bobby Thompson in fifth and the Vauxhall Astra of Rob Collard in sixth.
Last year’s polesitter Josh Cook ended the session seventh ahead of Michael Crees in eighth, Ash Sutton in ninth and the fourth Volkswagen CC of Carl Boardley in tenth.
In what was a superb session for Team HARD, all four of their cars appeared in the top ten having adjusted to the closing conditions perfectly.
Qualifying for Sunday’s races will be broadcast live on www.itv.com/btcc at 15:05