Free practice: Reid sets pace

Anthony Reid and the MG ZS set the BTCC pace in the free practice sessions for rounds 15 and 16 at Knockhill to hand out a rare bloody nose to the Vauxhall Astra brigade

Free practice: Reid sets pace

Ex-pat Scot Reid topped the times in both sessions in an impressive showing for the ZS on its Knockhill debut. In the first session MGs were even first and second fastest with Gareth Howell shining to be second fastest in the Team Atomic Kitten car, while second works driver Warren Hughes battled gear-selection problems.

"I like the track," said Reid. "It's got more corners than straights and that suits us." He also reckoned that over the past few meetings he has found a good basic race-set-up for the car and so felt able to work more today on his qualifying set-up. "That's where I've been lacking a bit lately," he said.

After session one you had to search down to fourth fastest to find the first Vauxhall Astra - Paul O'Neill's - but at the end of session two, points leader James Thompson and Matt Neal put aside their race set-up work to try some qualifying tweaks and put in second (Neal) and third best times. "That's about as much as there is in it, though," said Thompson of his heavily ballasted car. Neal - on minimum weight should be Vauxhall's best bet in qualifying.

The last of the big three - Yvan Muller was in trouble, indulging in an uncharacteristic spin out of the chicane, setting only the 11th best time, and explaining simply: "I didn't find a good set-up."

Andy Priaulx was again right in the ballpark in the Honda Civic Type-R with fourth fastest time, while the Team Halfords Peugeots were on-song in sixth and seventh - Dan Eaves fractionally better than Tim Harvey - behind the impressive Howell.

In BTC Production, Gavin Pyper was in dominant form, easily quickest in the GA Motorsport/Team Dynamics Alfa 156. But as first reserve, he is not guaranteed a race tomorrow.

Anthony Reid MG ZS 54.252s 86.17mph
Matt Neal Vauxhall Astra Coupe 54.401s 85.93mph
James Thompson Vauxhall Astra Coupe 54.449s 85.85mph
Andy Priaulx Honda Civic Type R 54.505s 85.77mph
Gareth Howell MG ZS 54.577s 85.65mph
Dan Eaves Peugeot 406 Coupe 54.607s 85.61mph
Tim Harvey Peugeot 406 Coupe 54.661s 85.52mph
Paul O'Neill Vauxhall Astra Coupe 54.665s 85.52mph
Alan Morrison Honda Civic Type R 54.702s 85.46mph
Colin Turkington MG ZS 54.847s 85.23mph

Gavin Pyper Alfa Romeo 156 57.115s 81.85mph
Norman Simon BMW 320i 57.562s 81.21mph
Spencer Marsh Honda Accord 57.772s 80.92mph

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