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Silverstone BTCC: Welch goes quickest with Proton

Daniel Welch, Proton, Silverstone 2012Daniel Welch's Proton was quickest in the second British Touring Car free practice session at Silverstone on Saturday.

Jason Plato (works MG6) and the Motorbase NGTC Ford Focus of Mat Jackson set the early pace on a dry track.

Jackson had got down to 59.324s before he lost control exiting Brooklands and hit the barriers on the entry to Luffield. The Ford limped back to the pits, but debris briefly brought out the red flags.

Plato immediately went quickest after the restart, only for Welch - whose Proton had been fast throughout the session - to top the times in the closing moments.

Behind Plato, Aron Smith was the only other driver to usurp Jackson's earlier mark, going third in one of Motorbase's S2000 Focuses.

Dave Newsham's ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra was fifth, while the pace of the WSR BMWs was underlined by all three cars being in the top 10.

As expected, the NGTC Honda Civics struggled on the straightline speed-dominated track. Reigning champion Matt Neal was the best in 12th, two spots behind the old S2000 Civic of Howard Fuller (Team Hard).

BTCC returnee Chris Stockton was 22nd of the 24 runners in Thorney Motorsport's Vauxhall Insignia.

Pos  Driver           Team/Car           Time       Gap
 1.  Daniel Welch     Welch Proton         59.165s
 2.  Jason Plato      MG                   59.194s  + 0.029s
 3.  Aron Smith       Motorbase Ford       59.323s  + 0.158s
 4.  Mat Jackson      Motorbase Ford       59.324s  + 0.159s
 5.  Dave Newsham     ES Vauxhall          59.563s  + 0.398s
 6.  Tom Onslow-Cole  WSR BMW              59.602s  + 0.437s
 7.  Rob Collard      WSR BMW              59.608s  + 0.443s
 8.  Frank Wrathall   Dynojet Toyota       59.678s  + 0.513s
 9.  Nick Foster      WSR BMW              59.687s  + 0.522s
10.  Howard Fuller    Gilham Honda         59.746s  + 0.581s
11.  Andy Neate       MG                   59.792s  + 0.627s
12.  Matt Neal        Honda                59.904s  + 0.739s
13.  Adam Morgan      Speddworks Toyota    59.916s  + 0.751s
14.  Will Bratt       Austin Audi          59.935s  + 0.770s
15.  Gordon Shedden   Honda                59.945s  + 0.780s
16.  Andrew Jordan    Eurotech Honda       59.963s  + 0.798s
17.  Rob Austin       Austin Audi        1m00.155s  + 0.990s
18.  Liam Griffin     Motorbase Ford     1m00.206s  + 1.041s
19.  Chris James      ES Vauxhall        1m00.235s  + 1.070s
20.  Lea Wood         Wood Vauxhall      1m00.390s  + 1.225s
21.  Jeff Smith       Eurotech Honda     1m00.575s  + 1.410s
22.  Chris Stockton   Thorney Vauxhall   1m00.976s  + 1.811s
23.  Tony Hughes      Speedworks Toyota  1m01.168s  + 2.003s
24.  Ollie Jackson    AmD Volkswagen     1m07.020s  + 2.201s
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