Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Practice report
BTCC Brands Hatch

BTCC Brands Hatch: Hill and Butcher top free practice

Jake Hill and Rory Butcher topped the free practice sessions at Brands Hatch ahead of the second round of the British Touring Car Championship, but there was no fully dry running.

Rory Butcher, Toyota GAZOO Racing UK Toyota Corolla GR Sport

Powered by Cataclean

BTCC coverage powered by Cataclean

Hill was one of a raft of late improvements in the opening session, which took place amid light drizzle, and steered his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport around the Indy Circuit 0.097 seconds quicker than the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus ST of three-time champion Ash Sutton.

Apart from a few people bedding in wet-weather rubber, the competitors ran on slick tyres throughout, and the majority took the opportunity to put a heat cycle through the soft-compound Goodyear as option tyres return to the series after a season away this weekend.

Those who did run the soft tyres did so while teetering around early on while the track was at its slippiest, and Hill’s time on the regular mediums, once conditions got as good as they ever were, was over a second off team-mate Colin Turkington’s qualifying lap record.

Points leader Dan Cammish was third in this session in his Motorbase Ford ahead of reigning champion Tom Ingram with his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N and Turkington.

But it was the second session, which took place in completely wet conditions, that will most likely be more relevant to the afternoon qualifying session, with the forecast quite miserable for the rest of Coronation day.

Butcher had run among the leading runners for much of the opening session, but pitted his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla GR Sport for a set-up change and missed the window when the quickest times were set.

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport

Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport BMW 330e M Sport

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

In the second period, the Scot shot out of the blocks, setting the quickest time very early on and finishing a mere 0.005s clear of Sutton.

The contrasting styles of the drivers were remarkable bearing in mind the similarities of their times, with Butcher steering well clear of the kerbs through the tricky Surtees/McLaren S-bend and Sutton smothering them more than anyone else – and rescuing an enormous tankslapper on the grass early in the session.

“It’s quite encouraging I think,” said Butcher, who is attempting to bounce back from a disappointing opening round at Donington Park.

“We were able to replicate that lap on a couple of runs and then the circuit dropped away – it was a bit weird really, but we made the most of it while it was good.”

Bobby Thompson was another kerb-attacker on his way to third spot in his Team Hard Cupra Leon, and the hard-trying reigning Jack Sears Trophy champion set the theoretical best lap of the session based on fastest splits.

Also within 0.1s of Butcher’s best were fourth-placed Hill and the second Speedworks Toyota of Ricky Collard.

Turkington was sixth in this session ahead of Excelr8 Hyundai trio Tom Chilton, Ronan Pearson and Ingram, with Cammish rounding out the top 10.

Cammish was another to take to the grass at Surtees during the session, as well as Ingram and Josh Cook late on, while Adam Morgan plonked his WSR BMW lightly into the barriers at Clearways before guiding it back to the pits and heading back out onto the track.

BTCC Brands Hatch Indy - Practice results

FP1

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 United Kingdom Jake Hill   18 48.684    
2 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton   25 48.781 0.097 0.097
3 United Kingdom Dan Cammish   25 48.884 0.200 0.103
4 United Kingdom Tom Ingram   21 48.925 0.241 0.041
5 United Kingdom Colin Turkington   25 48.993 0.309 0.068
6 Bobby Thompson   24 49.008 0.324 0.015
7 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom   25 49.047 0.363 0.039
8 United Kingdom Adam Morgan   23 49.157 0.473 0.110
9 United Kingdom Ricky Collard   26 49.220 0.536 0.063
10 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley   18 49.224 0.540 0.004
11 United Kingdom Rory Butcher   22 49.251 0.567 0.027
12 George Gamble   25 49.284 0.600 0.033
13 Mikey Doble   22 49.291 0.607 0.007
14 United Kingdom Josh Cook   17 49.372 0.688 0.081
15 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd   22 49.415 0.731 0.043
16 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat   23 49.464 0.780 0.049
17 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith   26 49.486 0.802 0.022
18 Jack Butel   28 49.513 0.829 0.027
19 Dexter Patterson   28 49.537 0.853 0.024
20 United Kingdom Andrew Watson   24 49.666 0.982 0.129
21 Jade Edwards   29 49.779 1.095 0.113
22 United Kingdom Sam Osborne   23 50.234 1.550 0.455
23 Will Powell   24 51.344 2.660 1.110
24 Nick Halstead   18 54.104 5.420 2.760
25 Ronan Pearson   16 1'04.065 15.381 9.961
26 United Kingdom Tom Chilton   9 1'04.408 15.724 0.343
27 Nicolas Hamilton   7      

FP2 results to follow

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Hamilton explains undercover BTCC spectator outing to support brother Nicolas
Next article BTCC Brands Hatch: Cammish secures stunning pole from Turkington

Top Comments

There are no comments at the moment. Would you like to write one?

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe