The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship was back in action this week as a majority of the field took part in the two-day Goodyear Tyre Test at Snetterton.
In scorching conditions, NAPA Racing UK ultimately set the pace around the Norfolk venue with reigning champion Ashley Sutton and team-mate Dan Cammish occupying the top spots on the combined times at the conclusion of running.
Sutton – who currently sits fourth in the standings at the midpoint in the season – completed a total of 155 laps around the 300 configuration in his Ford Focus ST, more than anyone else.
His best lap came on Wednesday morning where he shaved more than six tenths of a second off the current race lap record, setting a best time of 1:55.121.
“We were selected to do some Goodyear tyre testing,” explained Sutton. “So pretty much our whole day was based around testing out the option tyre and a few other things. I kind of took the limelight away from Dan [Cammish] who had raw pace on the right tyre if I’m honest. We were just running a completely different programme, as requested by Goodyear.
“We still made good progress with the car over the two days. We feel like we’ve had a lot of potential and that potential seemed to be showing in Dan’s pace too, but I’m pleased with the two-day tyre test and am looking forward to going to Knockhill and trying out some of the things we’ve learnt.”
Cammish finished a mere 0.015 seconds behind the three-time champion whilst Jake Hill, current series leader Tom Ingram and Gordon Shedden – the pace-setter throughout Tuesday – rounded out the top five.
Toyota’s Ricky Collard finished up sixth on the timesheets with Michael Crees, Dan Rowbottom, Jason Plato and Stephen Jelley completed the top ten.
In total, 30 drivers hit the track over the course of the two days to for over 14 hours of testing, accruing almost 2,500 laps of the 2.97-mile layout.
Alongside teams and drivers testing various strategies, a selection of drivers also undertook Goodyear’s own testing programme, as the tyre company evaluates making adaptations ahead of next season.
“Snetterton gives us all we need,” said Mickey Butler, Goodyear Motorsport Event Manager. “It’s a mixture of corners, low speed, high speed and great visibility around the track. We can understand where we currently are from previous years’ testing and the data we’ve built up.
“It works really well for us. Obviously, we’re in the new hybrid world and we’re still developing our understanding of that, like everybody else, and then also adapt a new tyre for 2023 to make the racing even more exciting.”
To view the full classification of times from the BTCC Goodyear Tyre Test at Snetterton, CLICK HERE.
The Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship recommences on July 30/31 when the series makes its annual trip north of the border to Knockhill for Rounds 16, 17 & 18.