Sutton sets the benchmark as teams rack up the testing miles at Thruxton
Adrian Flux Subaru Racing’s Ashley Sutton set the quickest time of the day in this afternoon’s Free Practice session, with more than two-thirds of the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship field taking part in the annual TOCA Support test day at Thruxton Circuit.
Sutton headed Mike Bushell, whose late lap fired him second and just 0.026s shy of the Subaru man. Halfords Yuasa Racing’s Matt Neal lapped third quickest – recovering from throttle issues in the morning’s running to reveal a little more of the new Honda’s potential.
“That was unexpected, I’ll be honest,” said Sutton. “It’s been a fast day in general and everyone’s been quick. We’ve come here looking for track time and I think we’ve found a few key things. It’s been a general test, not just a Thruxton test.
“We hadn’t done mileage prior to Season Launch at Donington Park, then Brands Hatch later that week but that was rained off. We’ve come to make up time on the others and we’ve achieved some key things and we hope some of those will carry over to Donington.”
Jack Goff, Sam Tordoff, Josh Cook and Dan Cammish rounded out the top seven – with each setting times beneath Matt Neal’s qualifying lap record around the Hampshire circuit. Though as is always the case with testing, it’s more about the time out on circuit than outright pace as teams and drivers work through their programmes in what is a learning process early on in the season.
More than 1,100 laps were completed across the day, with a focus on Dunlop’s Thruxton-specific rubber as well as chassis and setup development for the forthcoming campaign.
2018 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 2 – TOCA Support Test – Thruxton Circuit
1 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing 1m15.717s
2 Mike BUSHELL (GBR) Trade Price Cars with Brisky Racing +0.026s
3 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.094s
4 Jack GOFF (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.143s
5 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Team GardX Racing with Motorbase +0.245s
6 Josh COOK (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +0.264s
7 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.280s
8 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.326s
9 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.371s
10 Brett SMITH (GBR) WIX Racing with Eurotech +0.470s
11 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.484s
12 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.522s
13 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.524s
14 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +0.695s
15 Rob AUSTIN (GBR) DUO Motorsport with HMS Racing +0.774s
16 James COLE (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.945s
17 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +1.101s
18 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Team BMW +1.211s
19 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Power Maxed TAG Racing +1.234s
20 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Ciceley Motorsport +1.267s
21 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +1.420s
22 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.544s
23 Michael CAINE (GBR) Team HARD with Trade Price Cars +1.641s
24 Josh PRICE (GBR) Autoglym Academy Racing +1.657s
25 Sam SMELT (GBR) AmD with Cobra Exhausts +2.807s