Turkington heads Rockingham test
By Jamie O'Leary Thursday, March 19th 2009, 20:38 GMT
Colin Turkington topped the timesheets for WSR at the first official British Touring Car Championship test of the year at Rockingham.
The BMW driver's benchmark 1m23.609s time was set within the first hour of the afternoon session, as Turkington completed 64 laps in total.
Champion Fabrizio Giovanardi was second quickest for Vauxhall, 0.388 seconds slower. Giovanardi was the only man other than Turkington to dip under the 1m24s barrier, his best lap coming inside the final hour of running.
An impressive third quickest was Turkington's WSR team-mate Stephen Jelley, while Matt Neal and Andrew Jordan ensured that all three works Vauxhalls ended up in the top five.
Gordon Shedden was the best of the Team Dynamics drivers, setting the sixth best time of the day in his Honda Civic, with Harry Vaulkhard's Tempus Chevrolet and Rob Collard's Motorbase BMW next up.
Dave Pinkney in the second Dynamics Honda was ninth as the only Techspeed Honda Integra present completed the top 10. Both Martyn Bell and Paul O'Neill took turns in the car during the afternoon.
It was a bad day for new Motorbase recruit Jonathan Adam, who had his test cut short after just six laps due to a rear differential problem with his BMW. He stopped the car out on the circuit, resulting in the only red flag of the day while it was cleared.
Tom Chilton was another to lose time, an overheating issue with his Ford Focus forcing the Arena team to re-map it. He did, at least, manage to return to the track for the final 15 minutes of the session.
Series rookie Martin Johnson also had his session come to a premature end. The former Renault Clio Cup racer lost the electronic display on his Boulevard Vauxhall Astra and called it a day so as to prevent himself from needlessly over-revving the engine.
Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1. Colin Turkington BMW 320si 1:23.609
2. Fabrizio Giovanardi Vauxhall Vectra 1:23.997 + 0.388
3. Stephen Jelley BMW 320si 1:24.140 + 0.531
4. Matt Neal Vauxhall Vectra 1:24.193 + 0.584
5. Andrew Jordan Vauxhall Vectra 1:24.223 + 0.614
6. Gordon Shedden Honda Civic 1:24.329 + 0.720
7. Harry Vaulkhard Chevrolet Lacetti 1:24.746 + 1.137
8. Robert Collard BMW 320si 1:24.823 + 1.214
9. David Pinkney Honda Civic 1:25.287 + 1.678
10. Bell/O'Neill Honda Integra 1:25.506 + 1.897
11. Jonathan Adam BMW 320si 1:26.003 + 2.394
12. Liam McMillan SEAT Toledo 1:26.208 + 2.599
13. John George Honda Integra 1:27.001 + 3.392
14. Tom Chilton Ford Focus ST 1:27.218 + 3.609
15. Martin Johnson Vauxhall Astra 1:27.519 + 3.910