Thruxton Free Practice and Qualifying Report


13 May 2017

The clouds cleared over the circuit, and the first Thruxton free practice session for the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship got underway.

The first Thruxton free practice session of the day proved successful for BTC Norlin Racing, with Chris Smiley finishing 6th fastest with a 1:17.14, and Dave 9th with a 1:17.15. The 45 minutes track time provided the team with the vital data required to continue developing the cars for the rest of the weekend.

Free Practice 2

The second practice of the day followed a similar pattern of preparation which involved further tweaks to unlock more potential of the brace of Cruzes.

Dave completed 20 laps and finished the session 10th. Chris clocked 23 laps and was 11th fastest on the track.


As Saturday progressed closer to 16:10 for the all-important moment of the day, the sun was out and 32 cars took to the track for qualifying at the fastest circuit in the Dunlop British Touring Car Championship.

BTC Norlin Racing found themselves in a familiar situation at the end of qualifying, much like previous outings at Brands Hatch and Donington.

After 14 laps on the 2.356 circuit, Dave Newsham said “The team have worked hard since Donington and have brought numerous changes to the Chevy for Thruxton. These changes led to solid times in FP1 and FP2 with both cars inside the top ten.

“However, we as a team still seem to be missing an ingredient when it comes to qualifying. I’m starting 22nd on the grid and this a long way from where we thought we would be.

“That said, we know we have a fast car, especially on Sundays and I’m looking forward to making my way forward in all three races tomorrow and bag some more points.”

The top 21 spaces were separated by less than a second, and the entire grid was 2.132 seconds apart, which again confirms how closely matched the grid is.

Saturday evening also saw the pre-arranged track walk to raise money for Billy Monger, following his accident at Donington Park in April.

The event saw 1200 people take to the track, and raised more than £7000. Chris, Dave and members of the team joined for the event, which was a great success. It was great work by all those involved in putting the event together.