Fabrizio Giovanardi set the quickest time as the HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship weekend kicked off with the opening practice session at Oulton Park.

At the wheel of his VX Racing Vectra, Giovanardi posted a time of 1min 27.284secs - putting him quicker than the lap record - as he led the way ahead of the Chevrolet Lacetti of Jason Plato.

The Racing Silverline man had been quickest for much of the session, despite an off-track excursion exiting Cascades, but ultimately ended up two-tenths of a second behind Giovanardi on the timesheets. Points leader Matt Neal slotted into third ahead of his closest challenger Colin Turkington.

Double Donington Park winner James Thompson was fifth quickest for Team Dynamics from the Cartridge World SEAT Leon of Adam Jones, which managed only limited laps due to an exhaust issue.

Airwaves BMW pair Rob Collard and Jonathan Adam were seventh and eighth, while Harry Vaulkhard's Chevrolet and the Ford Focus of Tom Chilton completed the top ten.

BTCC debutant James Nash was 17th.

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