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MGs carry test momentum into first practice as Plato tops times

Saturday, August 03 2013

Jason Plato headed an MG 1-2 in first practice for this weekend's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round at Snetterton today (Saturday). Carrying testing form into the weekend, they were a quarter of a second quicker than the fastest of the Hondas, with Andrew Jordan taking third spot.

Despite most of the teams having tested here recently, it took around 15 minutes for the drivers to start setting representative times and predictably enough it was the works Hondas and MGs involved. Championship leader Matt Neal and rookie Sam Tordoff traded times early on before Plato took his place at the top of the table.

Sam was the first man to lap under a minute and 58 seconds as the drivers homed in on the benchmark set in testing. Plato took another tenth away and that seemed to be it, at least until the final minutes when there was a rush to leave the pitlane.

However there were to be no headline improvements, although Jordan did record a quick first sector. Third place for him confirmed that the Honda Civic would have pace to match the MGs this weekend, although the works entries fell to eighth and eleventh places, with reigning champion Shedden ahead of Neal.

Dave Newsham then headed a brace of Toyotas, ahead of Adam Morgan, with Aron Smith posting a late time to claim sixth from eBay Motors' Colin Turkington. Rob Austin and Mat Jackson completed the top ten. Behind there were promising performances from Jack Goff (12th) and Andy Neate, 20th on his NGTC Chevrolet's debut. James Kaye was third in the Jack Sears Trophy class,  behind Lea Wood and Liam Griffin, whilst former category contender Warren Scott was at the back of the field after completing seven shakedown laps in his new NGTC VW Passat.

The second practice session takes place at 12:00 midday.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship first practice
1, Jason Plato, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, 1:57.870s
2, Sam Tordoff, MG KX Momentum Racing, MG6, +0.115s
3, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek Racing, Honda Civic, +0.367s
4, David Newsham, Speedworks Motorsport, Toyota Avensis, +0.464s
5, Adam Morgan, Ciceley Racing, Toyota Avensis, +0.509s
6, Aron Smith, Airwaves Racing, Ford Focus, +0.560s
7, Colin Turkington, eBay Motors, BMW 125i M Sport, +0.745s
8, Gordon Shedden, Honda Yuasa Racing, Honda Civic, +0.866s
9, Rob Austin, WIX Racing, Audi A4, +1.079s
10, Mat Jackson, Airwaves Racing, Ford Focus, +1.120s

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton on 3/4 August are available on the gate for £13 today and £31 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.