Renault Laguna racer Will Hoy emulated the efforts of his Williams F1 counterpart Damon Hill by setting the fastest time in today's (Friday) official TOCA Test at Oulton Park -- the final test before this weekend's two vital rounds of the Auto Trader RAC Touring Car Championship on the shorter 'Fosters' version of the picturesque Cheshire circuit. With just eight of the 26 rounds remaining, Britain's premier motor sport series is entering a crucial phase.

Hoy's lap time, the fastest ever set by a BTCC driver at Oulton Park, was just one thousandths of a second faster than Rickard Rydell's best effort in the leading Volvo. Rydell holds second spot in the overall standings and knows time is running out if he's to overhaul the pacesetting Audi of championship leader Frank Biela. The German was fourth fastest in today's test, one spot behind the on-form Honda Accord of Scotsman David Leslie.

With a single second separating the leading 15 drivers, a packed house can expect a couple of close fought qualifying sessions on Saturday and two great BTCC races on Sunday.

TOP OFFICIAL TESTING TIMES 1 Will Hoy (GB), Renault Laguna, 0 minutes: 59.687 seconds - 100.12mph; 2 Rickard Rydell (Swe), Volvo 850, 0:59.688s; 3 David Leslie (GB), Honda Accord, 0:59.704s; 4 Frank Biela (D), Audi A4, 0:59.779s; 5 Alain Menu (Switz), Renault Laguna, 0:59.798s; 6 James Kaye (GB), Honda Accord, 1:00.006s; 7 John Cleland (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:00.077s; 8 James Thompson (GB), Vauxhall Vectra, 1:00.149s; 9 Paul Radisich (NZ), Ford Mondeo, 1:00.160s; 10 Kelvin Burt (GB), Volvo 850, 1:00.248s;; 11 John Bintcliffe (GB), Audi A4, 1:00.334s;; 12 Joachim Winkelhock (D), BMW 320i, 1:00.388s.

-- Official BTCC website: Best in British Motor Sport