Smiley notches quickest time of the afternoon at Thruxton
Chris Smiley secured the quickest time of the afternoon at the TOCA Test Day from Thruxton with an effort narrowly shy of Dan Cammish’s morning benchmark.
Both the factory Honda Civic Type R (FK8) of Cammish and BTC Racing’s new-for-2019 FK8 lapped beneath the official qualifying lap record (1m15.612s) set by Matt Neal last year with the same machinery in its debut BTCC campaign.
“This morning was the first time I’d driven at this circuit in this car before and around real high speed corners,” said Smiley. “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.
“This is a track that you have to treat with respect and in the second session we’d looked back through the data and got a feel of things and had a better idea of what we had to do.”
Rory Butcher in the Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance Honda Civic Type R (FK2) rounded off a top-three lockout for the Japanese marque in the combined classification. The Scot was encouraged to follow a maiden BTCC win back at Brands Hatch with more positive progress.
“We’re quick,” said Butcher. “It’s a really demanding circuit here and it takes a lot to hook up a qualifying run. It’s intense because it’s just so fast.
“We went through a few changes on the car and they were positive. Looking towards the Thruxton race weekend, we’re feeling strong. One change in particular has given me a lot more confidence and after five, six, seven lap runs we were hitting good pace.”
On the whole, the second session saw drivers outperforming their morning efforts, though, of course, all times in testing are to be taken with a pinch of salt as teams work their way through packed schedules with varying priorities. The 29 cars out there racked up some 1200 laps over the course of the day.
The Adrian Flux Subaru Racing Levorg of Ash Sutton and Colin Turkington in the Team BMW 3 Series could again be found at the sharp end, with third and fifth respectively – sandwiching Aiden Moffat, who managed the fourth fastest time of the afternoon.
Cammish tallied the sixth quickest lap in Free Practice 2 to go along with his standout time set in the morning’s running.
2019 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Testing – Afternoon, Thruxton Circuit
1 Chris SMILEY (GBR) BTC Racing 1m15.534s
2 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.167s
3 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.238s
4 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.251s
5 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.282s
6 Dan CAMMISH (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +0.330s
7 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.403s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Mac Tools with Ciceley Motorsport +0.437s
9 Sam TORDOFF (GBR) Cobra Sport AmD AutoAid/RCIB Insurance +0.484s
10 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Team Toyota GB with Ginsters +0.495s
11 Andrew JORDAN (GBR) BMW Pirtek Racing +0.644s
12 Rob COLLARD (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +0.767s
13 Matt SIMPSON (GBR) Simpson Racing +0.801s
14 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +0.938s
15 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) Adrian Flux Subaru Racing +0.993s
16 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +1.028s
17 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) Team Shredded Wheat Racing with Gallagher +1.040s
18 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team Parker Racing +1.162s
19 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Cataclean Racing with Ciceley Motorsport +1.218s
20 Jason PLATO (GBR) Sterling Insurance with Power Maxed Racing +1.225s
21 Jake HILL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +1.376s
22 Matt NEAL (GBR) Halfords Yuasa Racing +1.491s
23 Jack GOFF (GBR) RCIB Insurance with Fox Transport +1.761s
24 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with Motorbase +2.104s
25 Bobby THOMPSON (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +2.134s
26 Rob SMITH (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +3.024s
27 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Excelr8 Motorsport +3.100s
28 Mark BLUNDELL (GBR) TradePriceCars.com +3.216s
29 Michael CREES (GBR) GKR Scaffolding with Autobrite Direct +4.837s