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Menu tops distrupted BTCC practice on drying track

Saturday, August 02 2014

Team BMR's Alain Menu topped a disrupted opening practice session at Snetterton for this weekend's Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship round today (Saturday). Most of the times were set in the final moments as a damp track began to dry, and two red flag periods, the latter ending the session, also conspired to distort the final order.

With the track still drying as the session kicked off, not many drivers posted times, but the MGs of Sam Tordoff and Marc Hynes topped a somewhat brief order of just five cars. There was as much activity in the pitlane as on the track, and this increased when Rob Holland's Audi needed to be recovered, bringing out the red flags.

Just 20 minutes remained when the track was reopened, and Dave Newsham took the opportunity to head the order, by almost five seconds as the August heat continued to dry the tarmac. The field had switched to slick tyres, and whilst many drivers soon demoted the MGs out of the top ten, Newsham continued to head the order into the final ten minutes.

Predictably the order then began to change at a rapid pace. Jack Goff settled into his brand new VW Passat by taking a second off Newsham's benchmark, then Alain Menu lopped off another five tenths, becoming the first driver to lap the 300 circuit under two minutes. Newsham was knocked down to fifth place, with Tom Ingram, Andrew Jordan, Gordon Shedden and James Cole all ahead.

However in trying to better his time, Jordan's car left the track at Riches, hit the tyre wall and the session was red-flagged. His mechanics will therefore have work to do before the second practice session, which takes place at 12:00 midday.

Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship practice one
1, Alain Menu, Team BMR, VW Passat, 1:59.701s
2, Jack Goff, Team BMR, VW Passat, +0.543s
3, Tom Ingram, Speedworks, Toyota Avensis, +0.579s
4, Andrew Jordan, Pirtek, Honda Civic, +0.673s
5, Gordon Shedden, Honda Racing, Honda Civic, +0.971s
6, James Cole, United Autosports, Toyota Avensis, +1.418s
7, Dave Newsham, AmD, Ford Focus, +1.549s
8, Rob Austin, Exocet Racing, Audi A4, +1.664s
9, Warren Scott, Team BMR, VW Passat, +1.740s
10, Matt Neal, Honda Racing, Honda Civic, +1.802s

Click here to view the full session result.

Tickets for the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship at Snetterton are available on the gate for £14 on Saturday and £32 on Sunday, with free entry for children aged 12 and under. For more information call 0843 453 9000 or click here.