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REIGNING CHAMP SUTTON PICKS UP FROM WHERE HE LEFT OFF

BTCC champion Ash Sutton has kicked off his title defence by topping the opening free practice session of the season amidst wet conditions at Thruxton this morning (8 May).

Heavy overnight and continued rain in Hampshire meant the full 29-driver line-up faced a challenging start to the campaign at the UK’s fastest track, and it was Sutton who showed his class in the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50.

Sutton has already confirmed that he’s hoping for rain throughout the weekend, so it was little surprise to see him topping the times relatively late on in the 40-minute session.

Jake Hill (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square) and Josh Cook (BTC Racing) had initially traded blows at the head of the order, with P1 changing hands on several occasions as drivers continued to acclimatise to the tricky conditions.

Cook had to settle for second from Hill at the finish, whilst series returnee and three-time champion Gordon Shedden was next in the classification, having looked particularly pacy in the Halfords Racing with Cataclean Honda Civic Type-R.

Jason Plato made it three champions in the top-five with a confident mood being displayed by the Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing camp throughout the off-season.

Aiden Moffat confirmed the credentials of the Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50 with an encouraging run to sixth, as he pipped manufacturer-backed Rory Butcher (Toyota Gazoo Racing UK) and Tom Oliphant (Team BMW).

Dan Cammish kicked off his weekend appearance for BTC Racing in ninth, whilst Daniel Rowbottom rounded out the top ten for Halfords Racing with Cataclean.

The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will be back on track at 1215 for the final practice session, before the all-important qualifying commences at 1445, which will be screened live via www.itv.com/btcc.

2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Thruxton

1          Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1:20.041
2          Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.049s
3          Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.610s
4          Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.775s
5          Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +1.040s
6          Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.101s
7          Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +1.184
8          Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +1.218s
9          Dan CAMMISH (GBR) BTC Racing +1.244s
10        Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.261s
11        Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.622s
12        Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.654s
13        Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +1.696s
14        Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +1.850s
15        Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +2.273s
16        Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +2.523s
17        Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +2.574s
18        Glynn GEDDIE (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +2.814s
19        Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +3.055ss
20        Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +3.217s       
21        Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +3.228s
22        Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +3.232s
23        Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +3.504s
24        Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +3.754s
25        Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +4.006s
26        Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +4.613s
27        Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +5.633s
28        Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +5.956s
29        Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport NO TIME

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