6th May 2023

Tunbridge Wells ace Jake Hill led the way in the opening Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Free Practice session at Brands Hatch this morning (6 May).

The mixed weather conditions that played such an integral role in the opening event at Donington Park two weeks ago, have seemingly descended onto Kent with morning drizzle hanging over the 1.21-mile Indy circuit.

A damp start to proceedings gradually turned into a frantic finish with the track trying throughout the 40-minutes of running.

It was home hero Hill that timed his run just right as he hit the front ahead of NAPA Racing UK duo Ash Sutton and Dan Cammish.

"It was a nice little surprise," said Hill. "The conditions never suit us when it's like this but me and Craig [engineer] have worked extremely hard over the winter to make it a better car in those mixed conditions. As we saw in Race 3 at Donington, for the first time in a long time we were the fastest car in the rain. The cars working well, we are really pleased.

"That session was a bit of a waiting game, we just had to build and build the temperature in the slicks to get them to switch on - eventually they got there. Nice to know if it that wet again, you know what you can do."

Sutton and Cammish were both yet to set a time as the session moved into its closing stages but both immediately proved the potential of the Ford Focus, as they edged out BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8's Tom Ingram – the reigning champion also leaving it late before setting his first representative time.

Whilst those in-between conditions can often cause frustrations for teams and drivers alike, experience of such circumstances may actually prove pivotal across the weekend.

All three Team BMW cars – Colin Turkington, Adam Morgan and Stephen Jelley – were inside the top ten, whilst Dan Rowbottom also joined his NAPA Racing UK counterparts in the leading order.

Bobby Thompson (Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils) in sixth and Ricky Collard (TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK) in ninth also impressed.

FP2 takes place at 12:05 before qualifying is streamed LIVE via the ITV Sport YouTube channel at 15:25.

2023 Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship – Free Practice 1 – Brands Hatch Indy

  1. Jake Hill, Laser Tools Racing with MB Motorsport 48.684s 
  2. Ashley Sutton, NAPA Racing UK +0.097s
  3. Dan Cammish, NAPA Racing UK +0.200s
  4. Tom Ingram, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +0.241s
  5. Colin Turkington, Team BMW +0.309s 
  6. Bobby Thompson, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.324s 
  7. Daniel Rowbottom, NAPA Racing UK +0.363s 
  8. Adam Morgan, Team BMW +0.473s
  9. Ricky Collard, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.536s 
  10. Stephen Jelley, Team BMW +0.540s 
  11. Rory Butcher, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.567s 
  12. George Gamble, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing UK +0.600s 
  13. Mikey Doble, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.607s 
  14. Josh Cook, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.688s 
  15. Daniel Lloyd, Autobrite Direct with Millers Oils +0.731s 
  16. Aiden Moffat, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +0.780s 
  17. Árón Taylor-Smith, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.802s 
  18. Jack Butel, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown +0.829s
  19. Dexter Patterson, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +0.853s 
  20. Andrew Watson, CarStore Power Maxed Racing +0.982s
  21. Jade Edwards, Re.Beverages and Bartercard with Team HARD +1.095s 
  22. Sam Osborne, NAPA Racing UK +1.550s 
  23. Will Powell, One Motorsport with Starline Racing +2.660s 
  24. Nick Halstead, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +5.420s 
  25. Ronan Pearson, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +15.381s 
  26. Tom Chilton, BRISTOL STREET MOTORS with EXCELR8 +15.724s 
  27. Nic Hamilton, Go-Fix with Autoaid Breakdown NO TIME 
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