HILLS SETS THE PACE AT SUNNY SILVERSTONE
Jake Hill came firing out of the blocks in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Silverstone, as the Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport man topped the timesheets.
With BMW arguably on the backfoot in the overall Drivers’ championship fight, both Hill and stablemate Colin Turkington wasted little time finding the limits, with the latter also going beyond them when it comes to the track limit regulations.
Hill improved upon his own benchmark on a number of occasions and would eventually head the chasing pack by more than a quarter of a second.
“I think we were all just struggling to get a bit of tyre temperature at the beginning,” said Hill. “On the whole, though, I am really pleased. The BMW felt really, really calm and well balanced so I am just looking forward to the rest of the day now.
“A big weekend is needed to keep this championship fight alive, but trying to have a good weekend in general is the most important thing.”
Ronan Pearson celebrated his extended contract with BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 by setting the second quickest time. The young rookie has impressed throughout this maiden campaign and he will now stay with the Hyundai outfit for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.
“We have a good car and chassis here so we should go well at Silverstone this weekend,” said Pearson. “It’s a good start, and we hope to bank some good points. We have started on the right footing, which is a good position to be in.”
Aron Taylor-Smith’s impressive form continues as the CarStore Power Maxed Racing star grabbed third ahead of team-mate Mikey Doble.
Turkington eventually claimed fifth ahead of NAPA Racing UK’s championship leader Ash Sutton.
Ricky Collard – currently sitting seventh in the overall Drivers’ standings – took the same position in FP1 around the National circuit, ahead of Team BMW’s Adam Morgan and BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8’s Tom Ingram.
Last year’s pole-sitter and winner at Donington Park last time out – Rory Butcher – had to settle for tenth in his TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK Corolla.
FP2 takes place at 1205 before Qualifying for Round 25 of the 2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship commences at 1525, with the latter session being streamed live on the ITV Sport YouTube channel. Qualifying will also include the final ‘Top Ten Showdown’ of the season.
2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – FP1 – Silverstone
1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport +57.622s
2. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.273s
3. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.301s
4. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.312s
5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.377s
6. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.420s
7. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.428s
8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +0.450s
9. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.503s
10. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.540s
11. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.548s
12. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.553s
13. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.559s
14. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0586s
15. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.611s
16. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.780s
17. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.809s
18. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.848s
19. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +0.860s
20. Bobby Thompson, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.972s
21. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.023s
22. Jade Edwards, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.186s
23. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +1.238s
24. Michael Crees, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +1.296s
25. Daryl DeLeon, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.372s
26. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +1.435s
27. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +1.767s
More to follow…