WTCC: Michelisz leads day one of Vila Real

WTCC: Michelisz leads day one of Vila Real

International Racing

WTCC: Michelisz leads day one of Vila Real

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Norbert Michelisz headed Friday’s World Touring Car Championship test session in Vila Real, as Citroen’s Yvan Muller prevented a Honda one-two with the final lap of the session.

Michelisz and Muller traded fastest times early on in the half-hour before returning to the pits, with Muller’s Citroen teammate Jose Maria Lopez then propelling his C-Elysee to the top of the standings with his first timed lap. But on his return to the track, Muller, who remains without a win so far this season, leapt back to the top of the times with less than 10 minutes of the session remaining with a lap of 1m59.860s to secure a provisional Citroen one-two.

Rob Huff’s late improvement put paid to that as he went fastest by almost a second, before Honda team-mate Michelisz set his session-topping time, a 1m58.673s.

Muller set the fastest first sector with his final attempt, but wound up 0.087 seconds down in second, ahead of Huff and Lopez.

Lada pair Hugo Valente and Nicky Catsburg both made late leaps to fifth and sixth in their respective Vestas, bumping independent Citroen driver Tom Chilton down to seventh – the Brit having spent most of the session in the top five.

Home hero Tiago Monteiro was eighth in the third Honda Civic, 3.221s off teammate Michelisz’s pace, ahead of Polestar’s Thed Bjork and ROAL Motorsport driver Tom Coronel, who completed the top 10.

Robert Dahlgren, making his first appearance in the WTCC since 2011 after his swap with Fredrik Ekblom, was 14th in the second Polestar Volvo S60, while Daniel Nagy – making his WTCC debut in a second Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic – did not set a time.

FRIDAY TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m58.673ss 1m58.673s 11
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 1m58.760ss 0.087s 10
3 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m58.891ss 0.218s 12
4 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 1m59.960ss 1.287s 8
5 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 2m00.962ss 2.289s 9
6 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 2m01.010ss 2.337s 11
7 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m01.249ss 2.576s 11
8 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m01.894ss 3.221s 10
9 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m02.441ss 3.768s 12
10 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m02.478ss 3.805s 12
11 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 2m02.601ss 3.928s 11
12 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m03.413ss 4.740s 10
13 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m04.035ss 5.362s 10
14 Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m04.945ss 6.272s 11
15 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m05.277ss 6.604s 12
16 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m05.492ss 6.819s 12
17 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m06.426ss 7.753s 5

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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