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Sunday, October 17, 2021

Plato tops observe from Smiley

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The bespectacled 53-year-old veteran “put some good boots on for a quali sim” within the closing moments in his Energy Maxed Racing Vauxhall Astra, dislodging long-time pacesetter Josh {Cook} from the highest of the instances.

Chris Smiley moved to the fore on the similar time, his Excelr8 Motorsport Hyundai i30 N additionally bettering {Cook}’s finest, however falling 0.090 seconds wanting Plato’s marker.

“We’ve discovered some stuff within the week which we’ve been fighting all 12 months,” stated two-time champion Plato.

“We definitely discovered some points with how my engine carried out – we discovered some unusual issues that have been very obvious [last time out] at Silverstone, to do with minuscule purposes of the throttle, the place we have been shedding a great deal of enhance. It was like throwing a parachute out of the again.

“Our engine man has been engaged on it this morning and he thinks he’s discovered an answer to it – fingers crossed we’ve discovered it.

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“The problems we’ve had we’ve chipped away, and every time discovered an enchancment.”

Whereas Plato and Smiley usually are not carrying any success ballast this weekend, {Cook} has 39kg aboard his BTC Racing Honda Civic Sort R.

{Cook} appeared very good on the circuit, and set the third quickest time in every of the 2 classes, setting the theoretical finest total on sector instances within the opening interval.

Gordon Shedden was one other late improver in a Workforce Dynamics Honda on 15kg of ballast, and he ended up fourth quickest, simply 0.001s adrift of {Cook}.

Gordon Shedden, Workforce Dynamics Honda Civic Sort R

Photograph by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Aron Taylor-Smith, buoyed by the current announcement of a brand new multi-year cope with Workforce Exhausting, lay second to {Cook} within the instances for a lot of the second session.

However the late enhancements demoted the Irishman’s Cupra to sixth, with team-mate Jack Mitchell placing in by far the most effective efficiency of his BTCC profession to go fifth within the late moments.

Rory Butcher, now with 27kg of ballast on board his Speedworks Motorsport Toyota Corolla after his double Silverstone win, appeared sturdy once more – the Scot was fourth within the opening session, and ended up seventh within the second.

That was sufficient to edge out the Excel8 Hyundai of Tom Ingram, who did a superb job on 66kg of success weight to go eighth quickest.

The quickest two drivers within the slower opening session failed to enhance within the later interval, though their morning instances put them simply inside the highest 10 total. Adam Morgan set the tempo earlier on in his Ciceley Motorsport BMW 330i M Sport, pipping Senna Proctor’s BTC Honda by 0.003s.

Championship chief Ash Sutton seems to be a borderline top-10 contender with 75kg ballast aboard his Laser Instruments Racing Infiniti Q50 following free observe, and he was barely faster than fellow title contender Jake Hill’s Motorbase-run MB Motorsport Ford Focus (57kg ballast) in every session.

Colin Turkington ran within the midfield in his West Surrey Racing-run BMW, on 48kg of ballast.

Whereas the second session ran drama-free, the primary featured two pink flags.

The primary got here when Jack Goff parked his Workforce Exhausting Cupra on the grass on the within of Schwantz Curve when it reduce out, whereas the second – which got here with a minute to go and led to a termination of the session – was attributable to team-mate Nicolas Hamilton spinning into the Craner Curves gravel entice.

Donington Park BTCC – FP2 outcomes

Donington Park BTCC – FP1 outcomes

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