SHEDDEN EARNS PRE-SEASON BRAGGING RIGHTS
Series returnee and three-time champion Gordon Shedden signalled his title intentions by topping the pre-season Kwik Fit British Touring Championship test at Silverstone today (22 April).
Halfords Racing with Cataclean star Shedden was the quickest driver on track during the early afternoon running, and the Honda racer was followed by two familiar faces in the shape of Team BMW’s Colin Turkington and Power Maxed Car Care Racing’s Jason Plato.
As the 29 cars set about completing longer runs and set-up adjustments, it was BTC Racing’s Michael Crees that moved into P1, as the Kent driver prepares for his second season with the squad.
Shedden would not be denied, however, as the Scotsman set the fastest lap of the day in the closing moments of the six hours of scheduled running. Such was the impressive pace on this pre-season test day, that Shedden clocked the 1.64-mile Silverstone National Circuit in 57.108s – more than two tenths quicker than the current qualifying lap record.
Jack Goff enjoyed an impressive day as the Team HARD. with Auotbrite Direct man topped the morning session, before recording the second-best lap time in the afternoon, as the all-new CUPRA Leon made its competitive bow in the BTCC.
Crees settled for third at the finish, ahead of Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram and the Vauxhall Astra of Plato – the latter returning to the BTCC after a one-year hiatus.
Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was next in the order with Laser Tools Racing’s Ash Sutton close behind, as last year’s top two drivers look to rekindle their battle for supremacy.
Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport has graduated to the BMW 330i M Sports over the winter, and Adam Morgan continued to acclimatise to rear-wheel drive machinery by setting the eighth-fastest time.
Daniel Lloyd and Daniel Rowbottom ensured that both Power Maxed Car Care Racing and Halfords Racing with Cataclean cars were inside the top ten, whilst the top 26 drivers were separated by the tiny margin of just 0.759s.
As expected, there were some minor stoppages during the day, but it was largely a trouble-free run for all competitors with an incredible 2,741 laps completed, amounting to nearly 4,500 miles of testing.
The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship gets underway on 8/9 May at Thruxton in Hampshire.
Gordon Shedden said: “That was a great day. We worked diligently through our programme and I gained more and more confidence in the car as the day went on. You never know what everyone else is doing during Season Launch, but to finish atop the times is mega. I’m definitely happy with that!”
Jack Goff said: “It’s been a good day – that’s the quickest I’ve ever been round Silverstone. The nicest thing about this car compared to the VW is that when you make a small tweak, you can really feel the difference. I’m sure other teams have got more to come, so I’m keeping my feet firmly on the ground until Thruxton. I honestly still believe we’re aiming for top ten currently – that’s where I realistically want to be .”
Michael Crees said: “Unbelievable – I even shocked myself! We knew we were there or thereabouts in the morning and then in the afternoon, we tweaked a few little bits and pieces, got the car right, put the tyres on and delivered the time. I had everything crossed for that last half-hour, but Shedden did what he does best and put a great time in and then Goff just pipped me too. Still, I’m over the moon, and going towards the first round, and I think we’re in good shape.”
Tom Ingram said: “It felt good. For my first time round here in the Hyundai, I’m really pleased. If I’m honest, it feels like I’ve been driving this car for years – everything feels very easy. It was the fastest I’ve ever been around Silverstone, which is great. Most importantly, it still doesn’t feel like we’ve maximised it. Everybody will say that up and down the grid, of course they will, but I know we’ve got more to find, which is actually a really nice place to be going towards the first couple of rounds.”
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Official Pre-Season Test – Silverstone
1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean 57.108s
2 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +0.194s
3 Michael CREES (GBR) BTC Racing +0.199s
4 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.274s
5 Jason PLATO (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +0.377s
6 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.423s
7 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.490s
8 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.501s
9 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Power Maxed Car Care Racing +0.516s
10 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.520s
11 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.545s
12 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.550s
13 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.554s
14 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.578s
15 Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +0.592s
16 Glynn GEDDIE (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +0.597s
17 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.598s
18 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.618s
19 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +0.639s
20 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.649s
21 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +0.655s
22 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.684s
23 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.686s
24 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.718s
25 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.731s
26 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.759s
27 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +1.097s
28 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +1.174s
29 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.253s