Honda hit the top at Brands Hatch
Matt Neal and Dan Cammish have seemingly unleashed the ‘Beast from the East’ at Brands Hatch today (29 March) as the all-new Honda Civic Type R claimed the top two positions of a 30-car BTCC pre-season test.
There was further joy for the Japanese marque with the independently run Eurotech Honda of Jack Goff completing the top three order.
A brief rain shower shortly after the 9am start gave teams the opportunity to run the Dunlop BluResponse wet tyre, but times soon took the expected tumble as the 1.2-mile of Tarmac began to dry.
Tom Chilton was first to show his hand in the Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher Ford as he moved into P1 ahead of Tom Ingram’s Speedworks Toyota and Andrew Jordan’s BMW Pirtek Racing car.
Series Organiser, TOCA, then made the decision to extend the morning session by an hour with further rain expected in the afternoon, and it was Halfords Yuasa Racing that reaped the rewards.
Neal’s 48.408s benchmark was less than a tenth shy of last year’s pole position lap around the Indy circuit, and team-mate Cammish was impressively only 0.051s further back.
WIX Racing with Eurotech’s Goff then pipped the BMW of Colin Turkington into third, whilst James Cole enjoyed an eye-catching run to take fifth in the Motorbase-run Ford Focus RS.
Jordan had to settle for sixth as the action finished for lunch, with Mike Bushell (VW) and Rory Butcher (MG) impressively in seventh and eighth. Butcher responded particularly well having caused the only red flag of the morning, after spinning his AmD MG6 into the gravel at Paddock Hill Bend.
Ciceley’s Adam Morgan and Ingram completed the top ten classification, having also run in similar positons during the Season Launch event at Donington Park earlier this week.
The afternoon session was interrupted by several rain showers with Josh Cook’s Vauxhall proving the best performer in the difficult conditions.
PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Sayle Photography