All 20 drivers taking part in this weekend’s final two rounds of 2017 set their best times in the second of the two sessions, held in dry conditions.
The first, on a wet track, saw already-crowned Champion Mike Bushell wind up fastest ahead of Max Coates and Lee Pattison.
But by the afternoon the track had dried completely and straight from the off times were some ten second faster and close to lap record pace.
Alas the session ended with a red flag stoppage – caused when WDE Motorsport’s Luke Reade pranged the barriers exiting Stirling’s corner.
This prevented a number of drivers from trying a final flying lap on new tyres and meant Team Pyro’s Burns – in P1 at the time of the red flag – stayed at the top of the timesheets.
His best lap of one minute, 38.606 seconds was a staggering 1.1 seconds and more inside Sutton’s race lap record (1m39.724s). It was also well beneath the qualifying record, currently held by Ant Whorton-Eales (1m39.056s).
Burns was also a sizeable 0.363s up on anyone else. Aged just 16 and heading into only his third UK Clio Cup event, he commented: “It’s the first time I’ve ever done a race weekend on the GP circuit here so was hoping maybe to be in the top eight if everything went right so P1 is a nice surprise – especially as we didn’t go on brand new rubber.”
Westbourne’s James Dorlin, Pyro pair Jack McCarthy and Bushell and WDE’s Pattison who completed the top five were also inside the Sutton record.
Pyro’s Lucas Orrock, WDE’s Paul Rivett, PP Motorsport/Westbourne’s James Colburn, Ciceley Motorsport’s Coates and MRM Racing’s Brett Lidsey filled positions sixth to tenth. Rounding out the top 12 were Pyro’s Zak Fulk and WDE’s Dan Zelos.
Meanwhile Ben Palmer, enjoying an outing with Westbourne as his prize for leading the Michelin Clio Cup Series, was 15th fastest and Aaron Thompson, in his first outing with Ciceley, 17th.
Leading times, Official Renault UK Clio Cup Free Practice, Brands Hatch GP:
1. Bradley Burns (Team Pyro), 1m38.606s
2. James Dorlin (Westbourne Motorsport, +0.363s
3. Jack McCarthy (Team Pyro), +0.384s
4. Mike Bushell (Team Pyro), +0.403s
5. Lee Pattison (WDE Motorsport), +0.431s
6. Lucas Orrock (Team Pyro), +0.495s
7. Paul Rivett (WDE Motorsport), +0.577s
8. James Colburn (PP Motorsport/Westbourne), +0.593s
9. Max Coates (Ciceley Motorsport), +0.652s
10. Brett Lidsey (MRM Racing), +0.661s
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