Chilton tops morning practice session at Thruxton
Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher’s Tom Chilton headed the way in the opening Free Practice session from Thruxton Circuit this morning.
Twenty-three of the 32-car field made the trip to Hampshire for the annual TOCA Support Test and it was the Ford Focus RS leading the early running as teams began to work through their busy programmes for the day. Chilton’s 1m15.979s was inside Matt Neal’s pole time, and lap record, set in qualifying here last year.
“Thruxton’s one of my favourite circuits, along with Brands Hatch. I do love it here.” said Chilton. “I used to be an instructor here, so I know it very well. We worked through some qualifying runs this morning and we may use some newer Dunlops this afternoon to see where we can go.
“You’ve got the combination today where the track’s warm enough for the tyre to work well but it’s cool enough for the engine. I was pushing quite hard, and we’ll change the set up to see if there’s any more time to gain this afternoon.”
Senna Proctor continued where he left off at Brands Hatch with the second fastest time of the morning, just a tenth-of-a-second shy of Chilton’s timesheet-topper, with his Power Maxed with TAG Racing team-mate Josh Cook making it two Vauxhall Astras in the top three.
The new-generation FK8 Honda Civic Type R, in the hands of Dan Cammish, rounded in fourth spot with reigning champ Ash Sutton and Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing’s Mike Bushell completing the top six.
As is always the case in testing, however, pace is not always the immediate priority – especially during the opening throes of the campaign. Teams and drivers are continuing the learning process as they look to unlock their 2018 machinery and evaluate the Dunlop SportMaxx compound for the Thruxton race weekend, 19-20 May.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – TOCA Support Test – Thruxton Circuit
1 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher 1m15.979s
2 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +0.130s
3 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +0.168s
4 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.240s
5 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.396s
6 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +0.538s
7 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.584s
8 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.686s
9 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.709s
10 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.792s
11 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.860s
12 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.960s
13 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +0.972s
14 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +0.998s
15 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.106s
16 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +1.162s
17 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +1.483s
18 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +1.604s
19 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.810s
20 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +1.829s
21 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.985s
22 Josh PRICE (GBR) Autoglym Academy Racing +2.335s
23 Sam SMELT (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +2.826s