Dan Thackeray ended the inaugural Milltek Civic Cup practice session as the driver to beat, setting a 1min 38.765 in his quest to win two titles back-to-back. Entering the series as a championship dark horse, the MJ Motorsport driver will be keen to continue his form ahead of Qualifying.
It was Morgan Bailey first onto the Cadwell Park circuit at 09:00 with the 22-year-old keen to get his eye in ahead of what is promising to be a strong year for the Red Rocket. He quickly found himself atop the timing sheets as the drivers warmed up, setting the benchmark for the session ahead.
His domination would not last forever though as George Alp-Williams looked to continue last year where he left off. Winning at the 2020 season finale at Donington Park, the #5 had been the only driver to keep pace with championship winner Bruce Winfield during that weekend and will be on a mission to follow in his footsteps. Setting a 1min 39.470, he maintained a 1 second gap over all drivers except Dan Thackeray.
Thackeray was quick to reverse this order, lowering the benchmark below the 1min 39sec mark, making use of his mere 9 laps on the track. Ending the session second would be Phillip Wright. The #63 was out to prove that he had pace to spare, setting a purple first sector on his final lap.
Alp-Williams would drop to third by the time the flag fell, choosing to complete just seven laps around the Green Nurburgring. His lack of running perhaps proof of the confidence that the young driver has.
Finishing fourth would be Ryan Bensley in the 2020 EP3. One of the newest built cars on track, the #7 finished just 0.8 seconds behind the pace setter, proving there could be more to give over the course of this weekend and the season as a whole as he gets up to speed with his new motor. Continuing the theme of new cars would be Morgan Bailey in fifth. One of only two 2021-built EP3s, the Red coloured #26 set a personal best of 1min 40.045.
Continuing down the order, Ross Darlington’s white and green #20 led the group of series regulars as David Buky’s 2004 Civic remained competitive from Ryan Dalzell and Jon Peerless. Completing the top ten would be Jamie Tonks’ Area Motorsport/Fast R machine.
In the Production Class, it was Mervyn Beckett who remained dominant throughout. The co-owner of MJ Motorsports was a threat not only in his own class but the Cup’s throughout. Setting a 1:44.713, he was only 5.9 seconds behind Thackeray and, more notable for himself, 0.866 seconds ahead of his nearest class rival Alfie Threlfall.
The Threlfall brothers are aiming for a strong debut campaign and 21-year-old Alfie has created the early advantage as Harry in the #68 was third in class. Behind him, Matthew Stenning and Mark Hughes completed the top five. Hughes was a guest at the final round invitational for the Production class last year and will be eager to make use of his extra weekend of racing.
Qualifying takes place 10:50 with Live Streaming provided on Civic Cup Social Media.
Full Results can be found on TSL Timing