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Turkington heads BTCC leader Tordoff in Snetterton practice

Saturday, July 30 2016

Subaru's Colin Turkington topped the opening practice session for this weekend's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship rounds at Snetterton today (Saturday), heading title leader Sam Tordoff and MG's Ashley Sutton.

The session got underway on a circuit that was fast drying from overnight rain as the sun began to poke through the clouds. Nevertheless it didn't take long for drivers to set lap times comparable to Turkington's race lap record from last year, with Croft winner Sutton an early pacesetter in the MG.

Mat Jackson soon bettered this in the Motorbase Ford, and despite lapping quicker on his next effort, could not fend off Adam Morgan's WIX Mercedes. Meanwhile the Subaru of Jason Plato, a serial winner at Snetterton, set aside engine power concerns to post the third, then second quickest time as the halfway mark approached. He was soon joined by team-mate Turkington, and, surprisingly, Team HARD's Michael Epps.

Halfway through the session Turkington went second, just seven hundredths adrift of Morgan, with Sutton, Aron Smith and Andrew Jordan also appearing in the top five, now tailed by Plato. Jordan went even quicker, as did Turkington, topping the session by a quarter of a second with a time that was just a few hundredths short of his race lap record. He was then joined at the top by championship leader Tordoff in the WSR BMW.

At this point all of the drivers had set a lap time apart from the works Hondas of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden, which were circulating, but so far returning to the pits on every tour. Finally, with just six minutes remaining, the reigning champion set the 13th-fastest lap, and shortly afterwards, team-mate Neal posted his first flaying lap, which was only good enough for 27th place. His next, however, at least moved him up to 15th, then he leap-frogged his team-mate to end the session in the top ten.

Late on, Turkington went several tenths quicker and with almost half a second in hand from Tordoff, ended the session quickest. A late improvement from James Cole saw the Hondas bumped down to 11th and 12th places respectively.

The second BTCC practice session will take place at 12:05pm.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice one
1, Colin Turkington, Subaru Team BMR, Subaru Levorg GT, 1:56.547s
2, Sam Tordoff, Team JCT600 with GuardX, BMW 125i M-Sport, +0.494s
3, Ashley Sutton, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +0.584s
4, Andrew Jordan, Motorbase Performance, Ford Focus, +0.632s
5, Adam Morgan, WIX Racing, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, +0.702s
6, Aron Smith, BKR, VW CC, +0.732s
7, Josh Cook, MG Racing RCIB Insurance, MG6 GT, +0.924s
8, Tom Ingram, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.983s
9, Mat Jackson, Motorbase, Ford Focus, +1.020s
10, James Cole, Subaru Team BMR, Subaru Levorg GT, +1.077s

Tickets for the BTCC at Snetterton on 30/31 July are available on the gate for £15 on Saturday and £33 on Sunday, with free admission for under-13s. For more information call our sales team on 0843 453 9000 or click here.