Fabrizio Giovanardi posted the quickest time in opening practice as the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship race weekend at Thruxton kicked off.

Benefitting from a lack of extra ballast on his VX Racing Vectra following his tough start to the year at Brands Hatch, the Italian posted a quickest time of 1min 18.882secs during the session to end up nearly quarter of a second ahead of Colin Turkington - who was one of the last drivers to take to the track and left it late to post his quickest time.

Adam Jones was an impressive third quickest in the Cartridge World SEAT Leon ahead of points leader Matt Neal and the third Vauxhall of Andrew Jordan. The top six was completed by Stephen Jelley in the second RAC BMW.

This weekend marks the return of a number of drivers to the series, with James Thompson top of the three in ninth place at the wheel of his Team Dynamics Honda Civic - two places ahead of Paul O'Neill in the Team sunshine.co.uk with Tech-Speed Honda Integra. Mat Jackson at the wheel of his RML-run Chevrolet Lacetti was 15th.

Following the tough start to the year at Brands Hatch, there was more misfortune for Team Aon as both Tom Chilton and Alan Morrison again found themselves down on speed in their Ford Focus STs and were near the bottom of the times, while Jason Plato was another driver to encounter some problems after suspension failure hit his time on track and left him in twelfth.

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