WIX Racing's Adam Morgan begins the final British Touring Car Championship weekend of 2015 by stamping his authority at Brands Hatch after topping the early practice running ahead of title protagonist Jason Plato.

Morgan set a 1 minute 31.428 around the Grand Prix layout of the Kent circuit in what was a largely disjointed opening practice of the weekend.

The WIX Racing driver's joy, however, was somewhat short-lived as his Mercedes A-Class grounded to a halt whilst on the circuit during the dying embers of the session.

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AmD Tuning.com's Jake Hill - standing in for Nicolas Hamilton - began his return to the series in the worst possible fashion after losing the rear of his Audi S3 on the exit of Graham Hill corner and subsequently made contact with the tyre barriers.

That prompted an immediate red flag with only a handful of drivers having recorded a flying lap.

Morgan - at the scene of his maiden BTCC triumph - took over from Team BMR's Plato at the head of the table after setting a string of hot laps to usurp the leading Volkswagen CC.

Plato responded but his best fell just a tenth short of Morgan's while Motorbase Performance's Mat Jackson completed the top three aboard the Ford Focus ST.

Team BMR's Colin Turkington began what potentially could be his final outing as the outgoing champion with the fourth quickest time ahead of MG's Jack Goff in fifth.

West Surrey Racing's Andy Priaulx was the top BMW in sixth, just four-tenths off the early pace. Priaulx took pole position around the Indy layout of the circuit during the season opening round.

Team Dynamics' Matt Neal set the seventh best time aboard his Honda Civic Type-R while champion elect Gordon Shedden followed his team mate in eighth.

Triple Eight MG's Andrew Jordan and Power Maxed Racing's Dave Newsham rounded out the top ten.