Dan Cammish edges opening practice at Snetterton
Dan Cammish kicked off the second half of the BTCC season on top of the timesheets after leading the way in the opening practice session of the weekend at Snetterton.
The Team Dynamics driver, who goes into the weekend still chasing his first victory of the season, headed a tightly-fought session around the Norfolk circuit to beat Matt Simpson and Tom Ingram to the fastest time.
Simpson had been the early pace-setter at the wheel of his Honda Civic Type R FK2, with the Simpson Racing man putting in his most competitive showing of the campaign so far.
His benchmark of 1:55.507s was immediately quicker than the best time seen in the recent Dunlop tyre test and looked set to be good enough for top spot, before Cammish went just 0.029s quicker in his FK8 Civic to secure early bragging rights.
Behind the two Hondas, Ingram left it late in the session to make his move up the order into third, posting his quickest lap on his penultimate tour to end up just 0.001s behind Simpson in the Speedworks Toyota.
The top three would have a notable advantage over the pack behind, which was headed by the BMW of Andrew Jordan. Despite the additional ballast on his 330i M Sport, and at a circuit that is expected to be less favourable to the rear-wheel drive car, the Pirtek Racing man slotted into fourth spot – albeit with a best time more than four tenths of a second off the outright pace.
Power Maxed Racing enjoyed a solid start to the weekend as Rob Collard and Jason Plato slotted into fifth and sixth in the two Vauxhall Astras, with Matt Neal’s Honda and the BMW of Tom Oliphant rounding out the top eight.
Jake Hill was ninth in the first of the Trade Price Cars Racing Audis, with Tom Chilton completing the top ten in his Motorbase-run Ford Focus. Chilton had topped the times during the tyre test last month, but was unable to match that time in practice with a best lap that was two-tenths of a second slower.
Further down the order, a gearbox issue restricted Rory Butcher to eight laps in his Cobra Sport AmD Honda Civic, although twelfth place meant the Scot was still ahead of championship leader Colin Turkington – who ended up with the 15th best time.
Ash Sutton and Josh Cook also found themselves well down the order and were outside the top 20, whilst Aiden Moffat propped up the times in his Laser Tools Racing Infiniti Q50, despite lapping quicker than he had done during the tyre test.