TOM INGRAM TOPS THE TIMES
Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com’s Tom Ingram has topped the times in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Snetterton this morning (12 June).
In stark contrast to the opening race weekend of the campaign – at a cold and wet Thruxton in May – Snetterton was basked in glorious sunshine as the 29 cars took to the track for the first competitive session of the weekend.
Teams and drivers had already enjoyed a shakedown run around the Snetterton 300 layout on Friday evening, so it was little surprise to see the lap times immediately tumble during their Saturday morning runs.
It would be the Hyundai i30N of Ingram that eventually laid down a marker as the popular driver pipped a trio of former champions in the order.
“The car felt really good but we’re obviously not going to read too much into it – it is only Free Practice at the end of the day,” said Ingram. “We’re a second off the [qualifying lap record] that I set previously, so there’s still a bit more to find.”
Ingram was also quick to pay tribute the loyal BTCC fanbase, as spectators make their long awaited trackside return after more than 18 months.
“The circuit feels great and the nicest thing has to be seeing everyone on the banks,” concluded Ingram. “We’ve missed having everyone out there and to go round and see people waving on the in-lap is just really cool!”
Ash Sutton (Laser Tools Racing), Colin Turkington (Team BMW) and Gordon Shedden (Halfords Racing with Cataclean) were second, third and fourth respectively, as some of the BTCC’s big hitters wasted little time before flexing their muscles at the Norfolk venue.
Stephen Jelley (Team BMW), Daniel Lloyd (Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing) and Ollie Jackson (MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square) were next in the order with the three drivers looking to move forward following mixed results during the Thruxton season opener.
Toyota Gazoo Racing UK’s Rory Butcher was eighth, ahead of the MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill, although the latter did face some mechanical woes to his Ford Focus during the session.
“Everything was going so well – then nightmare ten minutes in!” confirmed Hill. “The car feels good and there’s lots of time to come, so that’s a positive. Fingers crossed the boys can get the issue sorted and we’ll just go from there.”
Adam Morgan rounded out the top ten in his Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport BMW.
The BTCC cars will be back on track for FP2 at 1205 , before the all-important qualifying session takes place at 1435, which will be streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Snetterton
1 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com 1:55.785s
2 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.336s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.368s
4 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.525s
5 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.707s
6 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +0.768s
7 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.820s
8 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.902s
9 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.019s
10 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +1.042s
11 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +1.067s
12 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +1.107s
13 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +1.257s
14 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.307s
15 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +1.326s
16 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.364s
17 Senna PROCTOR (GBR) BTC Racing +1.469s
18 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +1.623s
19 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +1.629s
20 Jess Hawkins (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +1.640s
21 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +2.221s
22 Glynn GEDDIE (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +2.385s
23 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +2.455s
24 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +2.574s
25 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +2.683s
26 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +2.697s
27 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +2.850s
28 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +3.339s
29 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean NO TIME