Team BMR's Jason Plato has begun the BTCC Thruxton weekend at the top of the timesheets but suffered an off right at the end.

The double BTCC champion narrowly pipped WSR's Andy Priaulx around the Hampshire circuit with a 1 minute 17.575 second effort, beating the BMW by just under one-tenth of a second.

But despite having ended the opening session quickest, Plato suffered an off-track excursion during the final chicane at the very end of the session - resulting with a sizable shunt into the tyre wall on the outside of the racing line.

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A suspected left front tyre deflation appears to have been the cause for the Team BMR driver's plunge into the tyre barrier.

Plato's BMR team mate Colin Turkington set the third quickest time, just a shade under two-tenths slower than the 89-time race winner.

Honda's Gordon Shedden placed the Civic Type-R into the mix after producing a lap good enough for fourth ahead Mercedes' Adam Morgan in fifth.

WSR's Rob Collard provided more encouragement for the BMW cause by setting the sixth quickest time of the morning session. The defending champions had arrived at Thruxton apprehensive of struggling with straight-line speed issues the 1-Series suffered at Donington Park last time out.

Pole-man of the Thruxton event from the last three-years, MG's Andrew Jordan began his weekend in seventh while Aron Smith, Matt Neal and Dave Newsham completed the top-ten runners behind the Triple Eight machine.