Sutton’s best lap of 57.596 seconds in his BMR-backed Team Pyro car was just 0.022s faster than former championship runner-up Pattison who is making a one-off return this weekend with Team Cooksport.
Similarly WDE Motorsport’s Paul Rivett was only 0.094s shy of Sutton’s time. Points leader Ant Whorton-Eales was fourth for new team Maximum Motorsport ahead of 20Ten’s Jack Mitchell and WDE’s Charlie Ladell – both also having switched outfits for Knockhill and both also highly spectacular to watch through the Duffus Dip section of bends.
Pattison, Mitchell and Ladell were the only three drivers to improve on their morning times, however, as many of the runners decided to sit out much of the session due to intermittent drizzle which made choosing when to be on track a tricky decision.
Among those was Pyro’s Hand whose morning time of 57.092s – underneath his own race lap record, incidentally – went unchallenged. “There was no point, really,” he said. “In qualifying or a race you might risk having a moment or two in those conditions but not on Fridays.”
Sutton added: “The second session was a bit frustrating – we had a change on the car we wanted to try but the rain meant we couldn’t give it a proper go.”
Times from the two sessions combined were:
1 Ash Hand (Team Pyro), 57.092s
2 Ashley Sutton (Team BMR Restart with Pyro), +0.188s
3 Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +0.451s
4 Dan Holland (JamSport Racing), +0.481s
5 Lee Pattison (Team Cooksport), +0.526s
6 Thomas Grundy (JamSport Racing), +0.577s
7 Ant Whorton-Eales (Maximum Motorsport, +0.682s
8 Jack Mitchell (20Ten Racing), +0.839s
9 Charlie Ladell (WDE Motorsport), +0.897s
10 Rory Collingbourne (Team Cooksport), 0.904s
11 Mark Howard (Team Pyro), +1.349s
12 George Jackson (Team Cooksport), +1.737s
13 Rory Green (WDE Motorsport), +1.875s