Brands Hatch BTCC: Ingram heads opening practice despite stopping

Speedworks Motorsport's Tom Ingram finished the first practice session of the 2016 BTCC season at Brands Hatch on top.

Brands Hatch BTCC: Ingram heads opening practice despite stopping

As was to be expected, the first 10 minutes were in no way representative, as drivers got a feel for their new challengers in the first official session of 2016.

After the clock ticked into the second quarter of the session, Jake Hill, Jason Plato, Mat Jackson and Ollie Jackson swapped the top spot before the red flag came out for a stranded Ingram on the exit of Graham Hill Bend.

The session restarted with just over 20 minutes remaining, and the more representative times began to appear, with Josh Cook posting a 48.451 for Triple Eight Racing in the 23rd minute, just 0.040s slower than the pole time set by Andy Priaulx in 2015.

Cook's MG team-mate, rookie Ash Sutton, was also up on the pace with the 2015 Jack Sears Trophy winner before stopping on the exit of Graham Hill Bend, his car having to be towed back to the pitlane.

Meanwhile, the Team Dynamics pair of Matt Neal and Gordon Shedden also posted strong times, with Shedden being the first driver to go under Priaulx's pole time from 12 months ago.

Ingram then continued his run of strong form in FP1 into 2016, taking the fastest time of 48.230 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

No-one could match the Speedworks Toyota Avensis, and Ingram would end the first official session of 2016 at the top of the timesheets.

Motorbase, arguably the in-form team of the latter part of 2015, did not enjoy the same pace at the start of 2016, with Andrew Jordan and Jackson only able to manage ninth and 12th respectively.

One of the stories of the off season was the introduction of four new manufacturer-backed Team BMR Subaru Levorgs, built in a race against time, with only 87 days from the contracts being signed to the first practice session of the year.

None of the cars had done any real running before the Brands Hatch weekend, so the opening practice was effectively a shakedown for the team.

Colin Turkington ended the session as the fastest Subaru in 17th, nine tenths of a second behind Ingram's fastest lap, while James Cole, Plato and Warren Scott ending 25th, 27th and 31st respectively, although Plato only completed 17 laps and Scott seven.

Sutton was the top newcomer in FP1, a full eight tenths of a second ahead of the next best rookie, Matt Simpson, who ended the session 18th.

Chris Smiley was 24th, with Mark Howard and Emmerdale actor Kelvin Fletcher ending in 28th and 29th.

Out of the 32 registered entries, 31 made in on track, with Team HARD's Mike Epps never heading out of the pitlane.

James Charman / TouringCarTimes

shares
comments
BTCC season preview: Can newcomer Subaru be the star turn?
Previous article

BTCC season preview: Can newcomer Subaru be the star turn?

Next article

Brands Hatch BTCC: Tordoff heads Smith in second practice

Brands Hatch BTCC: Tordoff heads Smith in second practice
Load comments
Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021 Prime

Ranking the top 10 BTCC drivers of 2021

A refresh in equipment and some returning faces helped contribute to a supremely competitive 2021 British Touring Car Championship campaign. Ash Sutton was crowned a three-time champion, successfully defending his 2020 title, but faced stiff competition in the final year before the switch to hybrid. Motorsport.com picks out the best performers.

BTCC
Nov 17, 2021
Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton Prime

Why the BTCC's ballast increase couldn't stop champion Sutton

Ballast will be gone from the BTCC next year as hybrid power enters the scene, but for its final season the maximum was increased from 60kg to 75kg. Despite having to carry that nearly all season, Ash Sutton was always the favourite to pocket a third title - the 27-year-old getting his reward for a season of speed tempered by savvy to nail his opportunities

BTCC
Nov 12, 2021
The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59 Prime

The much-loved tin-top superstar bowing out at 59

OPINION: It's not often that a driver achieves widespread affection for their personality, as well as their on-track performances. One such individual is Gabriele Tarquini, who will soon bring the curtain down on a remarkable career that has yielded touring car titles on the European and global stage - and, famously, in Britain too

BTCC
Nov 11, 2021
The making of the BTCC's newest superstar Prime

The making of the BTCC's newest superstar

Ash Sutton is on the verge of being crowned a three-time British Touring Car Champion; he seems to have it all. But life hasn't always been straightforward for this superstar of touring cars, as Marcus Simmons has been finding out

BTCC
Oct 21, 2021
Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC Prime

Five key plotlines to follow in the 2021 BTCC

It’s been a busy silly season in the BTCC since the chequered flag fell to end the 2020 campaign last November. While last year’s top two have stayed put, there’s been a lot of fat to chew elsewhere, which should result in another fascinating year of tin-top action.

BTCC
May 7, 2021
Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out' Prime

Why a BTCC legend remains defiant at '97 not out'

After a year of enforced absence from the British Touring Car Championship grid, Jason Plato is back and hungrier than ever. Despite stellar opposition and some familiar challenges, the two-time champion still has his eyes focused on the biggest prizes.

BTCC
May 5, 2021
The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 BTCC drivers of 2020

The 2020 British Touring Car Championship will go down as a classic in which new winners graced the top step of the podium and an unloved chassis was resurrected into a champion. But who were the year's top performers?

BTCC
Dec 24, 2020
The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020 Prime

The Villeneuve-esque 'engineer's dream' who lit up BTCC 2020

The Infiniti Q50 was completely redesigned, redeveloped and revamped by BMR and Laser Tools Racing for 2020. And the flamboyant brilliance of the driver behind the wheel was enough to snatch the title at the last gasp…

BTCC
Dec 11, 2020