After Croft we had been expecting thirty two cars for the first time but a number of developments saw the field reduced once more.
Andy Wilmot has left Welch Motorsport after becoming unhappy with the reliability of his car. The team were due to run one car for Dan Welch but a supply issue with some parts saw them pull out of the weekend altogether.
Also out of the season is Max Coates after just one meeting for Support our Paras racing. The team issued a statement saying that a sponsorship package for Max hadn’t come through. TOCA have withdrawn their licence so the team will run a single car for the rest of 2015.
The news didn’t stop once the car had arrived at the circuit with Dextra Racing announcing that Alex Martin is having to miss the meeting due to his wife going into labour! Barry Horne, who had been acting as driver coach was brought in as a last minute replacement.
The Team BMR cars have appeared with Sponsorship for the first time after they made a deal with RCIB Insurance to sponsor the team for the rest of the season.
Andrew Jordan’s car has a new look just for Snetterton as his usually Blue car has been turned chrome to celebrate Pirtek’s new sponsorship deal which lasts for the next three seasons.
In the first session, Andy Priaulx came out on top in his IHG Hotels BMW but with the whole top sixteen separated by less than a second. Jason Plato narrowly missed out topping the times in his VW CC, his time only 0.055 of a second off Priaulx’s time. Priaulx had set his time right at the end and before that had been much further down the order.
Matt Neal was next up, just 0.034 further back with Aron Smith taking fourth a further tenth back. Jack Goff was best of the works MGs in fifth, beating team mate Jordan, who was ninth by a tenth f a second. Mat Jackson was sixth on his and Motorbases return to the championship. After tpping the times at the official test, many fans are expecting the popular driver to take pole. He spent most of the session in second but with many drivers setting their best times at the end of the session, he found himself pushed down the order.
Shedden was Seventh in the second of the works Honda Civic’s with Turkington making it three BMR VW CC’s in the top ten. Behind Jordan in ninth was Rob Collard in his BMW, half a second off his team mate at the front.
Kieran Gallagher had to pull out the session early on with yet more mechanical issues.
In the second session it was Andrew Jordan on top in his spectacular Chrome MG. Again Jason Plato was quickest for most of the session, only to be beaten in the closing stages by Jordan. Plato’s team mate Turkington then pushed him down another spot as he snatched second. The top three cars separated by just 0.040 of a second. Aron Smith was just behind Plato with the first session pace setter, Priaulx taking fifth this time. Jack Goff took sixth less than half a second off his team mate at the front. Seventh was Ingram with a time 0.001 off Goff’s just ahead of him.
Eighth was Dave Newsham for Power Maxed Racing with the final two top ten spots taken by Collard and Neal. Mat Jackson was again the best of the two Motorbase cars but down in sixteenth.
The second session was interrupted when a crash by Aiden Moffat brought out the red flags. The crash caused a small fire which was quickly extinguished. Aiden is suffering from concussion and has no memory of the crash. Because of this, he has been taken to Hospital as a precaution and has withdrawn from the weekend.
Kieran Gallagher missed the second session as the team continued to work on the car and it’s not yet known if it will be ready for qualifying.
Full times for both sessions can be found on TSL timing’s website; By Marc Waller