A wet Silverstone greeted the teams for the opening free practice session of the weekend, bringing the first wet running of the year for many drivers. Putting his knowledge of slippery surfaces to good use, eight-time ice racing champion Yvan Muller set the early pace, with a time of 1:36.881 to top the times in the opening session.
Anthony Reid (MG ZS) and Matt Neal (Honda Civic Type-R) made it three different manufacturers in the top three places, with James Thompson and Jason Plato rounding out the top five. Making his BTCC return, Kelvin Burt was immediately on the pace, lapping 7th quickest and the fastest independent Astra Coupé.
The session was red-flagged around mid-way through when Fariqe Hairuman deposited his Proton Impian in one of the Silverstone gravel traps – the Malaysian youngster finding the wet conditions more than a little tricky. Rob Huff was another to run off the track, losing a front splitter in the process, not for the first time this year. Colin Turkington struggled in the session, experimenting
In a second free practice session that got progressively wetter for much of the first half hour, Anthony Reid occupied the top spot for much of the session, before Jason Plato and Yvan Muller clocked fast times in the closing moments – the Seat driver going quickest with a time of 1:37.142 – three tenths of a second slower than Muller’s first session time. The Seat seems to work well in the wet, despite the 25kg of ballast gained by the ETCC-spec cars since Brands Hatch.