MG’s Jason Plato was comfortably the fastest driver in this morning’s first British Touring Car Championship practice session at Oulton Park, lapping 0.217 seconds faster than Redstone Racing’s Mat Jackson.
The session took place on a wet Oulton Park Island circuit, and Plato was the quickest man throughout the session. For the first time in 2012 Plato’s MG team-mate Andy Neate was also able to lap relatively quickly, with the 37 year-old setting the third fastest time, albeit 0.984 seconds off his team-mate.
Honda’s Matt Neal was fourth fastest and the only other driver to be within a second of Plato’s time. Gordon Shedden, winner of four of the last five races in the BTCC, had a troubled session and was the slowest driver of all, 7.361 seconds off the pace. However the Honda Yuasa Racing Team were experimenting with slick tyres in the slippery conditions and were not pursuing outright pace in first practice.
Andrew Jordan was fifth fastest in his Pirtek Honda, just ahead of the top BMW driver Nick Foster in sixth. Foster enjoyed a strong practice session to beat his two more experience team-mates and be the best rear-wheel driver racer in the session.
Adam Morgan was seventh fastest in the home event for his team Speedworks Motorsport. Tom Onslow-Cole and Rob Collard finished the session in eighth and ninth respectively, with Dave Newsham completing the top ten in his Team ES Racing.com Vauxhall.
Will Bratt is making his BTCC debut this weekend in the second of the Rob Austin Racing Audi A4′s, whilst team owner Rob Austin himself is missing the meeting due to damage sustained at the previous events. Bratt was an impressive 11th quickest in his first appaearance in the BTCC, 1.750 seconds off the pace.