SUN SHINES THROUGH AS SHEDDEN TOPS FP1
Home hero Gordon Shedden kicked off his Knockhill return in positive fashion, as the Halfords Racing with Cataclean star topped the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session.
The micro-climate that hangs above the Fife circuit was in full effect during the first 40-minutes of running as torrential rain was eventually replaced by bright sunshine in the closing minutes.
With an extremely wet surface to contend with, however, Shedden’s 55.032s benchmark lap time was still some five seconds off the expected pace in prime conditions.
Chris Smiley slotted into second – just 0.025s slower than Shedden – in his Draper Tools-backed EXCELR8 Motorsport Hyundai, whilst Team BMW’s Colin Turkington was third.
There were two Scotsman and two Northern Irishman in the top four as Dalkeith-born Aiden Moffat produced a decent lap in his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50.
One of the local favourites – Rory Butcher – endured a more troublesome session as an alternator cable issue prevented his progress in the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK Corolla.
“It was a tricky session,” confirmed Butcher. “We had an issue with an alternator cable, but we fixed that in the end, and hopefully that’ll be our gremlins gone for the weekend!
“The voltage is sitting at a much nicer number now and at the end I wasn’t getting any more power steering issues, so fingers crossed.
“I expected it to be dry in FP1 so that session was definitely more about just getting into the groove. If it’s going to be dry for the rest of the day – which is what the weather forecast says but it doesn’t seem to be following that – then it doesn’t really affect our plan at all and we can crack on with that!”
Tom Oliphant’s consistency continued with a top five result, ahead of MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square’s Jake Hill.
BTC Racing’s Senna Proctor and Josh Cook were seventh and ninth respectively, whilst stable-mate Jade Edwards experienced a slightly tricky run, which included a mid-session off at the chicane.
Championship leader Ash Sutton was wedged between the two BTC Racing Hondas on the timesheets, whilst the Ford Focus of Ollie Jackson completed the top ten order.
Free Practice two takes place at 1205, whilst qualifying for Round 13 of the 2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship commences at 1450, with live streaming set to start around ten minutes earlier via www.itv.com/btcc.
2021 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Knockhill
1 Gordon SHEDDEN (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +55.032s
2 Chris SMILEY (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +0.025s
3 Colin TURKINGTON (GBR) Team BMW +0.247s
4 Aiden MOFFAT (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.357s
5 Tom OLIPHANT (GBR) Team BMW +0.363s
6 Jake HILL (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.413s
7 Senna PROCTOR(GBR) BTC Racing +0.424s
8 Ashley SUTTON (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +0.446s
9 Josh COOK (GBR) BTC Racing +0.572s
10 Ollie JACKSON (GBR) MB Motorsport accelerated by Blue Square +0.615s
11 Stephen JELLEY (GBR) Team BMW +0.631s
12 Paul RIVETT (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +0.685s
13 Rory BUTCHER (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.726s
14 Adam MORGAN (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.757s
15 Daniel LLOYD (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +0.762s
16 Sam SMELT (GBR) Toyota Gazoo Racing UK +0.848s
17 Jade EDWARDS (GBR) PHSC with BTC Racing +0.893s
18 Jason PLATO (GBR) Adrian Flux with Power Maxed Racing +0.918s
19 Tom CHILTON (GBR) Car Gods with Ciceley Motorsport +0.924s
20 Jack GOFF (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +0.927s
21 Sam OSBORNE (GBR) Racing with Wera & Photon Group +0.932s
22 Árón TAYLOR-SMITH (IRL) Team HARD. with HUB Financial Solutions +0.989s
23 Tom INGRAM (GBR) Ginsters EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.025s
24 Carl BOARDLEY (GBR) Laser Tools Racing +1.099s
25 Jack MITCHELL (GBR) Team HARD. with Autobrite Direct +1.326s
26 Daniel ROWBOTTOM (GBR) Halfords Racing with Cataclean +1.383.s
27 Rick PARFITT (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.510s
28 Nicolas HAMILTON (GBR) ROKiT Racing with iQuoto Online Trading +1.590s
29 Jack BUTEL (GBR) EXCELR8 with TradePriceCars.com +1.691s