Speedwork's Tom Ingram has emerged as the surprise early pacesetter at Brands Hatch as drying track conditions shook up the BTCC order after FP1.

The first BTCC practice of the year began under greasy conditions but the track improved as the session went on, leading to a frenetic final ten-minutes of running.

Team BMR's Jason Plato had quite comfortably led the first half of the session after setting a 52.682 second lap early in proceedings but his time tumbled down the order as the track dried.

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The Speedworks driver took over the initiative with 15-minutes to go as he set about delivering a searing series of purple sectors.

Ingram - already buoyant aboard his new 2015 Speedworks Toyota - made the most of the circumstances to steal the early headlines with a 50.665 second lap around the Indy circuit. That effort put him over five-tenths clear of anyone else.

In second, Matt Neal provided Honda with cause for optimism after the three-time champion set the second quickest lap-time behind the wheel of the all new Civic Type-R.

Josh Cook began his BTCC career with a fine third fastest time in FP1 ahead of the vastly more experienced Rob Collard, who was the highest placed BMW in fourth. Cook's Power Maxed Racing team mate Dave Newsham was the second Chevrolet to make the top-five in fifth.

On his highly anticipated return to the championship, three-time World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx initiated his weekend with the sixth quickest time of the session for WSR.

Team BMR boss Warren Scott ended the session as the top Volkswagen in seventh directly ahead of his team mate Aron Smith in eighth.

Audi's Hunter Abbott and Handy Motorsport's Simon Belcher - the morning's busiest driver with 30-laps - rounded out the top-ten order ahead of Plato, who eventually fell to eleventh.

Encouragingly for the Infiniti squad, Derek Palmer crucially managed to complete a total of 16-laps in the Q50 as the Support Our Paras Racing team desperately chase much needed mileage.