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
BTCC Donington

BTCC Donington: Turkington edges Sutton in free practice

Four-time champion Colin Turkington took the fastest time across the two free practice sessions for the opening round of the British Touring Car Championship at Donington Park.

Colin Turkington, Team BMW BMW 330e M Sport

Powered by Cataclean

BTCC coverage powered by Cataclean

The Northern Irishman eclipsed the quickest time of the opening session set by Ash Sutton, which had been a gargantuan 0.476 seconds clear of closest pursuer Turkington and had seemed to send out an ominous warning that the three-time title winner and the Motorbase Performance Ford Focus squad will be tough to beat in 2023.

During a run of several laps in the early stages of the lunchtime session, Turkington and his West Surrey Racing-run BMW 330e M Sport chipped 0.024s off Sutton’s early-morning time, which was half a second beneath the qualifying lap record set by Jake Hill last season thanks to track resurfacing work.

“I’m enjoying driving the car,” said Turkington. “Donington has always been a good circuit for the 3-Series, and with the extra grip you can push a bit harder.

“But there’s always more to find and that’s the tricky bit. I didn’t expect we’d be in the sevens [both Turkington and Sutton set laps below 1m08s], but I’m sure there’ll be some more people nudging in there in qualifying.”

Sutton was the only driver in the overall top 10 not to improve in the second session, although he did a 1m08.1s during a nine-lap ‘race’ run, while Turkington set a few times in that bracket.

But the morning time set by the new father (Sutton’s girlfriend gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday) was still good for second fastest overall.

Although he was running slower, Sutton looked good for second in the lunchtime session until a raft of late improvements pushed him down to fifth.

Read Also:

Quickest of those was his new team-mate Dan Rowbottom, who has looked strong all day on his first race weekend in a Motorbase Ford since switching from the Team Dynamics Honda squad.

The bearded Midlander narrowly pipped Turkington’s WSR BMW stablemate Jake Hill plus a rejuvenated Tom Chilton, giving a new-build Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N its competitive debut.

Fastest of the Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla contingent was Ricky Collard in sixth position, just ahead of the BMW of Adam Morgan, who is beginning his first race weekend with WSR.

Dan Cammish (Motorbase Ford) was eighth while reigning champion Tom Ingram bounced back from an electrical fault that stopped him at Schwantz Curve early in the first session, triggering the only red flag of free practice, to go ninth in the later period.

The top 10 was completed by the fastest of the six-strong Team Hard Cupra Leon contingent in the form of Dan Lloyd.

BTCC Donington: Full practice results

FP2

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 22 1'07.951  
2 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 23 1'08.046 0.095
3 United Kingdom Jake Hill 18 1'08.064 0.113
4 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 21 1'08.098 0.147
5 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 21 1'08.159 0.208
6 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 22 1'08.221 0.270
7 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 18 1'08.263 0.312
8 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 21 1'08.288 0.337
9 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 15 1'08.326 0.375
10 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 19 1'08.519 0.568
11 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 18 1'08.610 0.659
12 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 20 1'08.632 0.681
13 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 18 1'08.734 0.783
14 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 20 1'08.745 0.794
15 Ronan Pearson 20 1'08.783 0.832
16 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 17 1'08.815 0.864
17 George Gamble 16 1'08.822 0.871
18 Dexter Patterson 22 1'08.846 0.895
19 United Kingdom Josh Cook 17 1'08.950 0.999
20 Bobby Thompson 8 1'09.055 1.104
21 Jack Butel 19 1'09.304 1.353
22 Mikey Doble 19 1'09.433 1.482
23 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 17 1'09.685 1.734
24 Nick Halstead 12 1'09.760 1.809
25 Will Powell 17 1'09.874 1.923
26 Nicolas Hamilton 19 1'09.994 2.043
27 Jade Edwards 10 1'10.599 2.648

FP1

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Ashley Sutton 14 1'07.975  
2 United Kingdom Colin Turkington 21 1'08.439 0.464
3 United Kingdom Jake Hill 13 1'08.585 0.610
4 United Kingdom Ricky Collard 16 1'08.641 0.666
5 United Kingdom Daniel Rowbottom 16 1'08.648 0.673
6 United Kingdom Stephen Jelley 13 1'08.725 0.750
7 United Kingdom Adam Morgan 15 1'08.731 0.756
8 United Kingdom Dan Cammish 13 1'08.858 0.883
9 Ronan Pearson 16 1'08.866 0.891
10 United Kingdom Tom Chilton 9 1'08.878 0.903
11 George Gamble 16 1'09.053 1.078
12 United Kingdom Andrew Watson 16 1'09.099 1.124
13 United Kingdom Aiden Moffat 12 1'09.141 1.166
14 United Kingdom Daniel Lloyd 12 1'09.242 1.267
15 United Kingdom Rory Butcher 13 1'09.310 1.335
16 Ireland Aron Taylor-Smith 15 1'09.315 1.340
17 United Kingdom Sam Osborne 11 1'09.776 1.801
18 Jack Butel 14 1'09.906 1.931
19 Dexter Patterson 11 1'09.922 1.947
20 Nicolas Hamilton 16 1'10.137 2.162
21 Mikey Doble 14 1'10.227 2.252
22 Nick Halstead 16 1'10.289 2.314
23 Will Powell 17 1'10.751 2.776
24 Jade Edwards 7 1'16.457 8.482
25 United Kingdom Josh Cook 6    
26 Bobby Thompson 6    
27 United Kingdom Tom Ingram 4    

Be part of the Autosport community

Join the conversation
Previous article Toyota engine gives Speedworks ‘control over destiny’ in 2023 BTCC season
Next article BTCC Donington: Rowbottom takes pole as Sutton penalised

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