Rob Austin has marked the HMS Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta's official maiden track appearance by setting the quickest time during the British Touring Car Championship pre-season test at Donington Park.

Austin ended the official four hour test quickest of all by 0.164s ahead of Motorbase Performance's Tom Chilton, racking up 48 laps in the process as the HMS Racing outfit continue to gain all important mileage with the brand new Alfa Romeo.

In a session which was littered with numerous red flags, Speedworks Motorsport's Tom Ingram had led the way as the test entered its final hour. However, Austin rose to the top during the climax of the running after producing his best time [1 minute 10.074s] within his final run.

Behind the top two, last year's runner-up Team BMW's Colin Turkington completed the second highest mileage total of the afternoon, while setting the third quickest time between the two Motorbase Ford Focus RS machines.

BTCC returnee Sam Tordoff backed up his team mate Chilton's impressive pace by completing the top four order in fourth ahead of the second West Surrey Racing BMW 125i M Sport of Andrew Jordan in fifth.

Another driver embarking on 2018 with different machinery, Josh Cook negotiated his first official outing in the Vauxhall Astra with apparent ease after marking his return to Power Maxed TAG Racing by setting the sixth quickest time ahead of WIX Racing's Jack Goff in seventh.

Although Goff emerged from the four hour test as the top Honda runner, it was his stoppage during the final 15 minutes, which ultimately brought the session to an early end.

Adam Morgan, Tom Ingram and Chris Smiley completed the remainder of what proved to be a highly competitive top-ten order with just 0.568s separating the first ten cars.

Elsewhere, BTCC rookie Dan Cammish impressed on his first appearance for the factory Honda outfit as Gordon Shedden's replacement by near enough matching his four time BTCC champion team mate Matt Neal's time in 14th position.

Neal and Cammish completed 87 laps between them as the Team Dynamics outfit continue to develop the brand new Honda Civic Type R, which was launched in its race livery earlier today.

Further down the order, it was a low-key start to proceedings for reigning champion Ashley Sutton after the Subaru driver set the 20th fastest time, 1.1s off the ultimate pace.