Neal Tops Damp First Free Practice – Top 4 Perform
Submitted on October 20th 2012 10:41 by Michael Passingham.
The four contenders for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship title have slotted into the top four positions in a damp first free practice session at the Brands Hatch GP Circuit in Kent.
Matt Neal, who is third in the championship on 333 points, set the fastest time of 1:44.510. The session took place in damp conditions, with a dry line only emerging towards the end of the session. Overall, laptimes were around 13 seconds slower than the qualifying times set on the GP circuit in 2011.
Championship leader Gordon Shedden held the top spot for the majority of FP1, but ended the session 2nd, 0.486s behind his Yuasa Honda team-mate. His track record in recent wet races has been excellent, with two victories at a soaking-wet Rockingham earlier in the year.
Championship outsider Andrew Jordan completed his fastest lap 0.981s slower than Matt Neal, tailing a Honda Civic 1-2-3 on the time-sheet.
Jason Plato, who is second in the championship, managed fourth position in his KX Momentum MG 6GT. The KX Momentum cars are running a new livery this weekend in support of Cancer Research UK.
In conditions tough for rear-wheel drive machinery, Will Bratt impressed by bringing his rear-wheel-driven Rob Austin Racing Audi A4 home in 5th position.
Mat Jackson’s Redstone Focus, Dave Newsham’s ES Racing Vectra, Daniel Welch’s Proton, Aron Smith’s Focus and Ollie Jackson’s VW Golf rounded out the top 10.
The eBay Motors BMWs had a difficult session, with Collard and Foster only managing 12th and 15th respectively, and Tom Onslow-Cole failing to set a competitive time.
For full FP1 times, click here.
The second free practice session will start at 11:55. For live coverage, follow BTCCCrazyLive on Twitter.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Hobley