NAPA Racing UK’s Ash Sutton charged to the top of the timesheets at Thruxton during the final officially timed test of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship pre-season on Wednesday, 13th April, with all four Motorbase Performance-run drivers impressing at the Hampshire track.
Reigning BTCC Champion Sutton produced his fastest time of the ‘Media Day’ outing during the afternoon session, with a lap of 1m15.607 seconds (112.18mph), to conclude the day 0.137 seconds clear. His No.1 Ford Focus ST also sported gold Kwik Fit plates for the first time, a new introduction for the current champion from this season forward.
Team-mate Cammish, in the No.9 blue and yellow NAPA Racing UK entered Focus, wrapped-up the day sixth on the combined timesheets with a time of 1m16.128 seconds (111.41mph) which also came in the two hour 45 minute second session. Cammish had been the quickest of the Motorbase run drivers in the morning outing, third fastest, while Sutton was sixth at that point.
Ollie Jackson concluded an impressive day just a tenth of a second shy of the top 10 for the Apec Racing with Beavis Morgan entry, his best lap of 1m16.436 seconds (110.96mph) delivered in the day’s second session. Jackson was only 0.3 seconds away from Cammish with a very productive run and completed the most laps of any driver, 96 in total.
In the sister red, black and white Apec Racing car, Sam Osborne’s afternoon quickest of 1m.16.815 seconds (110.41mph) was 17th on the combined times – four tenths away from Jackson. He was also second fastest of the drivers eligible to challenge in the Jack Sears Trophy class this season, chalking up just shy of 80 laps for the day as a whole.
Following on from the official BTCC season launch at Thruxton the day prior, competitors conducted additional media work on Wednesday morning before taking to the track for the two test sessions which were attended by crowds of BTCC fans. Bringing the curtain down on the pre-season, there is now just over a week to go until the first race meeting of the BTCC campaign at Donington Park.
Oly Collins – Motorbase Performance Team Manager:
“That’s the way you want to finish a strong pre-season test programme isn’t it, at the top of the times! With pre-season testing you’re never quite sure what your competition are up to so we’ll only really know when we finish qualifying next weekend. But its always reassuring to be quickest, lets face it that’s what we all aim for. All four drivers and crews put in a day’s graft, another extremely reliable showing across the whole team.
“I think Ollie completed more laps than any other driver today and Sam wasn’t far behind, it’s so important to get that kind of mileage under our belts at this stage. All four drivers concentrated on different test programmes with long and short runs as well as more valuable Hybrid running, so to have that much data from all four cars is great.
“We now have a good week’s work of prep back at base before we head to Donington where, hopefully, we can put all these miles to good use when it counts. I’m really pleased with how our pre-season has gone and that’s full credit to the whole team behind the scenes! We now head to the season opener with high hopes.”
Rounds one, two and three of the 2022 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship will take place at Donington’s National Circuit on Sunday, 24th April. Live coverage of all of the action will be screened on ITV4 and also streamed online at www.itv.com/btcc