TOM OLIPHANT TOPS WET/DRY FP1
The 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship rather spluttered back into life this morning (31 July) as the season re-commenced during mixed weather conditions at Oulton Park.
Free Practice 1 got underway in relatively dry surroundings, which was when Team BMW’s Tom Oliphant set a benchmark lap time, before drizzle began to fall at the Cheshire track.
Goodyear wet tyres quickly became the order of the session, in conditions reminiscent of those experienced during the recent two-day test at the same venue.
Two former champions were next on the timesheets with Halfords Racing with Cataclean’s Gordon Shedden pipping Colin Turkington in his WSR-run BMW, although representative lap times were made fairly redundant by the fluctuating weather.
Team BMW will be relatively pleased with its progress, however, as Stephen Jelley ensured that all three BMW 330i M Sports were inside the top four when the chequered flag fell.
Tom Chilton also confirmed the pace of the BMW on a greasy surface as the Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport man finished up fifth, ahead of the Laser Tools Racing trio of Aiden Moffat, Carl Boardley and reigning champion Ash Sutton.
MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill was ninth, whilst Chris Smiley rounded out the top ten in his EXCELR8 Motorsport-run Hyundai.
Tom Ingram ventured back onto dry Goodyear tyres in the latter stages in the sister Hyundai, albeit without making any inroads on the timesheets, whilst Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing’s Jason Plato decided not to set a lap time during the 40-minute session.
Free Practice 2 takes place at 1210 before qualifying for Round 10 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship commences at 1510, which will be streamed live via www.itv.com/btcc.
Tom Oliphant said: “The car felt really good, it was just a bit on and off really. Sticking slicks on, then wets on, it went like that! I’m really pleased with where the car’s at. Obviously after the two-day tyre test we learnt a lot and I’m feeling confident.
“I grew up just two minutes down the road so can’t get much more homely than this! It’s really nice to see all the fans back and I’ve got lots of friends, family and people that I know coming, which is great news.
“Anything can happen in Cheshire, even when it says it’s going to be sunny it can still rain. We all have to deal with the same stuff, but hopefully the weather will make its mind up for qualifying and make my life a little easier!”
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Oulton Park
1 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.110s
2 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +0.191s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.661s
4 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.856s
5 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.926s
6 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.143s
7 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.170s
8 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.379s
9 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +1.563s
10 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.624s
11 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +1.717s
12 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.827s
13 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +1.894s
14 Senna PROCTOR(GBR) BTC Racing +1.976s
15 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +1.996s
16 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +2.027s
17 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +2.043
18 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +2.151s
19 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +2.318s
20 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +2.384.s
21 Jack MITCHELL (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +2.482s
22 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +2.516s
23 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +2.524s
24 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +2.604s
25 Andy NEATE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +2.878s
26 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +2.948s
27 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +3.103s
28 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +8.374s
29 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing NO TIME