THE curtain was brought down on the pre-season testing of the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship Season at Thruxton on Wednesday, ahead of the 2022 season.

The official launch was completed alongside an exclusive evening event at the Thruxton Centre, showing a hybrid presentation and many driver interviews.

More than 1,250 laps were performed by drivers throughout the day, adding up to an impressive 3,000 miles around the speediest circuit in the UK.

After a noisy and eventful day, current champion Ash Sutton came out on top.

Sutton's time of 1.15.607 dipped below the current race lap record of 1.16.206 achieved by Tom Ingram during 2020 - he ended up a tenth faster than Jake Hill in the morning, who was originally quickest.

"It’s been a good day, running through a test plan and making progress,” said Sutton. “Obviously, you don’t know what everyone else is going to do tyre-wise and stuff like that, but we knew where we were. We were picking away at it, working at the set-up changes. Then we thought we’d put a new tyre on at the end just to ultimately get an idea of what the balance was like on a bit of a hot lap.

“The hybrid system has been pretty faultless for us, and the hybrid ‘push-to-pass’ seems to be doing the job. It’s ticking all the boxes for us, and obviously we’ve had a solid day with NAPA Racing UK.”

Hills Rokit MB Motorsport BMW was best of the rest in the morning session, taking an early lead over Bristol Street Motors with EXCLR8 Ingram alongside both drivers in 2nd and 4th.

Halfords Racing alongside Cataclean finished with drivers Dan Rowbottom and Gordan Shedden taking 3rd and 5th.

Rowbottom was in P1 before Sutton overtook his time with Shedden stuck in the pits after colliding in a strange incident with BMWS Stephen Jelley.

Dan Cammish secured 6th in the other NAPA Racing UK Ford solidly.

Adam Morgan of Car Gods with Ciceley Sport and Colin Turkington running for the official BMW team collected 7th and 8th in their BMWs, as Daniel Lloyd and Jason PLato finished 9th and 10th for Bristol Street Motors and Rich Energy.

Unofficial testing will resume at Donington Park on the April 23 and 24.