Colin Turkington posted the quickest time for Team RAC as the new HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship season got underway with the opening practice session of the year at Brands Hatch.
Turkington, one of the pre-season title favourites, posted a time of 49.006secs at the wheel of his BMW 320si, which enabled him to outpace the Vauxhall Vectra of Matt Neal by just 0.065secs – with Neal electing to leave it until the latter stages of the session before he ventured out onto a damp circuit thanks to morning drizzle.
BTCC debutant Jonathan Adam continued with the impressive pace he displayed during testing at Brands Hatch last week by going third quickest for Airwaves BMW, while defending champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was fourth – like Neal having spent much of the session watching from the sidelines before venturing out to post a time.
Rob Collard was fifth quickest ahead of Stephen Jelley as four BMWs posted top six times, while Adam Jones was an encouraging seventh quickest for the new Cartridge World Carbon Zero Racing team in his bio-fuelled SEAT Leon.
AnAndrew Jordan was eighth ahead of Gordon Shedden, while Jason Plato completed the top ten as he completed his first laps at the wheel of his Chevrolet Lacetti entered by Chevrolet's WTCC outfit RML.
The two newcomers to the field, Alan Morrison in the Team Aon Ford Focus ST and Nick Leason in the AFM Racing BMW 120d, ended the session with the 19th and 20th quickest times.