Rob Collard leads opening British Touring Car practice session at Brands Hatch
|By Kevin Turner||Saturday, March 31st 2012, 10:07 GMT|
Rob Collard topped the first British Touring Car session of 2012 with his turbocharged WSR BMW at Brands Hatch on Saturday morning.
Rob Austin's rear-wheel-drive NGTC Audi A4 set the pace in the early part of the session before the BMW, now running a Neil Brown-prepared turbo unit for the first time, set a time of 48.932s.
Collard's new WSR team-mate Tom Onlsow-Cole was third, despite a small technical problem.
Andrew Jordan was the quickest of the new NGTC cars, taking fourth in Eurotech's Honda Civic. His 49.270s effort was also the best front-wheel-drive time.
Mat Jackson (Motorbase Ford Focus), Dave Newsham (ES Racing Vauxhall Vectra) and Aron Smith (Motorbase) made it five S2000 chassis in the top seven.
Reigning champion Matt Neal was 11th as many of the new cars played themselves in slowly, his 49.915s lap in the Honda being 1.7s off his pole time from last year.
The new works MG6s of Andy Neate and Jason Plato were 19th and 20th respectively, while 2011 championship runner-up Gordon Shedden suffered intermittent cut-out problems with his new NGTC Honda Civic. One such cut-out caused the first red flag of the season and Shedden ended up 21st.
John Thorne's Vauxhall Insignia caused the second red flag when he crashed at Paddock, while Ollie Jackson's off in the AmD VW Golf at the same place brought the session to an end.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Rob Collard WSR BMW 48.932s 2. Rob Austin Austin Audi 49.129s + 0.197s 3. Tom Onslow-Cole WSR BMW 49.259s + 0.327s 4. Andrew Jordan Eurotech Honda 49.270s + 0.338s 5. Mat Jackson Motorbase Ford 49.276s + 0.344s 6. Dave Newsham ES Vauxhall 49.333s + 0.401s 7. Aron Smith Motorbase Ford 49.706s + 0.774s 8. Frank Wrathall Dynojet Toyota 49.714s + 0.782s 9. Nick Foster WSR BMW 49.751s + 0.819s 10. Adam Morgan Speedworks Toyota 49.772s + 0.840s 11. Matt Neal Dynamics Honda 49.915s + 0.983s 12. Chris James ES Vauxhall 49.960s + 1.028s 13. Liam Griffin Motorbase Ford 49.989s + 1.057s 14. Ollie Jackson AmD Volkswagen 50.033s + 1.101s 15. Jeff Smith Eurotech Honda 50.360s + 1.428s 16. Lea Wood Wood Vauxhall 50.380s + 1.448s 17. Daniel Welch Welch Proton 50.573s + 1.641s 18. John Thorne Thorney Vauxhall 51.198s + 2.266s 19. Andy Neate Triple 8 MG 52.932s + 4.000s 20. Jason Plato Triple 8 MG 53.163s + 4.231s 21. Gordon Shedden Dynamics Honda 54.925s + 5.993s 22. Tony Gilham Gilham Honda