The annual TOCA test day at Thruxton has seen all runners and riders of the 2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship take to the track in order to work through their test programmes and prepare for the trips to Thruxton later in the season.
Videos of touring car flashes through the infamous Church corner showed that despite it being a test session, every driver were giving it their all to give their squads the valuable data that they desire.
The Honda stranglehold of the top times in Hampshire continued as Dan Cammish for Halfords Yuasa Racing set the quickest time in the morning session 0.685 seconds quicker than Colin Turkington in the Team BMW 330i M Sport.
Tom Ingram ended the morning third ahead of last years’ testing pace setter Ashley Sutton in fourth.
Cammish was pleased with the pace of his car, telling btcc.net, “It’s always nice to be quickest. We went very well here last year and did a good job. Matt (Neal) was on pole. Out of the box this morning, the car felt very strong.
“As a package we should be strong. Right now I’d have to say I’m glad we’re coming here twice.”
The FK8 Honda Civic Type R was still the car to beat as Chris Smiley set the quickest time in the afternoon session just a few tenths off Cammish’s best in the morning.
With the new car showing the way, Rory Butcher in the old FK2 Civic Type R, still buoyant after his maiden win at Brands Hatch, set the second fastest time ahead of Sutton still comfortable in his Subaru Levorg GT in third.
Despite trying to keep his car safe from harm, Smiley still understood that it was important he produced some good pace, “This morning was the first time I’d driven at this circuit in this car before and around real high speed corners.
“So, the first session was about trying not to cause any damage – driving the car to where I thought was safe. Despite losing the tyres towards the end, I was matching the times we were doing early on so that’s a good sign.”
With Thruxton testing out of the way, all teams and drivers now focus on the next round of the BTCC at Donington Park next weekend.
Combined testing times
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*Time – Gap to fastest time