Champions on top in opening practice

Four former British Touring Car champions set the four fastest times in the first official practice session of the new season this morning.

Jason Plato ended the session with the best time of 48.354, ahead of Colin Turkington, last year's champion Andrew Jordan and Matt Neal.

But it wasn't such a good session for championship returnees Alain Menu and Fabrizio Giovanardi who were tenth and 16th respectively.

Adam Morgan, driving the first Mercedes to race in the BTCC since 1975, repeated his impressive pre-season testing form by setting the fifth fastest time in his A Class, ahead of the VW Passat of Aron Smith.

There is one more practice session scheduled later this morning before qualifying for tomorrow's races takes place this afternoon.

  • Watch live coverage of BTCC qualifying on itv.com from 3.30pm this afternoon

  • Click on the Live Timing link at the top of the page to follow all of the practice and qualifying sessions