21 March 2017
Chris Smiley and Dave Newsham of BTC Norlin Racing are new entrants to the British Touring Car Championship for 2017.
However, the Chevrolet Cruze outfit took a starring role in the four-hour session at the Leicestershire track with Smiley finishing a mere 0.198 off the top time set by Tom Ingram.
Having only competed during the first half of last season, Smiley is keen to drive the Independent outfit forward during the forthcoming campaign and believes the pace shown so far will serve as added motivation.
“Today was the first day I’ve driven my own car but I felt comfortable straightaway,” said the Northern Irishman. “I didn’t even hook my best lap up properly because I made a mistake.
“Okay, it’s not a race weekend but this gives the whole team a boost going to Brands Hatch as it proves we’re not far away. We’re in the mix.”
Team-mate Dave Newsham further underlined the pace of the series’ newest team by finishing the day ninth.