Rob Huff set the fastest time in this mornings’ first free practice session at the Tianma Circuit in China, lapping in 1 minute 5.750 seconds to beat Tom Coronel to the top of the timesheets.
Coronel had topped the session early on but a fast lap by Huff at the mid-way point in the session saw the Brit take control at the top. With the session taking place on a dry track but in overcast and somewhat misty conditions drivers did not improve substantially on their first runs on Friday.
Third fastest was championship leader Yvan Muller, 0.365 seconds behind Huff. Robert Dahlgren once again went well in practice to set the fourth fastest time.
Next up were the top two BMW’s of Wiechers-Sport’s Colin Turkington in fifth and Engstler Motorsport’s Kristian Poulsen in sixth.
Alain Menu, who had set the pace in Friday’s open test session, was seventh fastest and 0.560 seconds adrift of his fastest team-mate.
The SUNRED cars once again struggled around the twisty Tianma circuit, with Gabriele Tarquini once again the fastest down in 12th position. However the Italian is more than a second off the pace once again and, with several drivers expecting overtaking to be difficult around the new circuit, he will be hoping to improve substantially by qualifying.
Denmark’s Michel Nykjaer was the second-fastest SUNRED driver in 14th, just one tenth behind Norbert Michelisz. Tiago Monteiro could only manage the 16th fastest time out of 22 runners, with even the relatively inexperienced Charles Ng going quicker than the Portugese former race winner.
Free Practice two takes place at 05:00 CET (04:00 BST) with qualifying scheduled to take place at 08:15 CET (07:15 BST).