Yvan Muller set the pace during this morning’s World Touring Car Championship morning warm up, setting a best time of 1:58.700. Muller headed a Chevrolet 1-2-3-4-5 as Alain Menu, Rob Huff, Rickard Rydell and Alex MacDowall filled the positions behind.
Menu was just 0.015 seconds adrift of Muller’s time, with Huff a further 0.177 seconds back. Rydell, making a one-off appearance for Chevrolet Motorsport Sweden, was within half a second of Muller. MacDowall, making his début this weekend, was fifth, 1.1 seconds adrift of his works Chevrolet rival.
The session had to be red-flagged before any drivers had completed their first flying lap when Darryl O’Young’s car caught fire. The Hong Kong driver had suffered an engine failure in qualifying yesterday and his Special Tuning Racing team worked into the evening to fit a new engine in his car. His weekend is now over due to the extensive fire damage to his León.
Norbert Michelisz managed to set the sixth quickest time, whilst both Team Aon drivers James Nash and Tom Chilton made it into the top ten for the first time this weekend in seventh and ninth, with Stefano D’Aste betwen them.
Moroccan Mehdi Bennani completed the top ten, 1.659 seconds off the front-running pace.
It was a troubled session for pole man Tarquini – the Italian failed to set a lap until late in the session and even then only managed a lap some 13.6 seconds off the pace. Tarquini was in the pit lane twice during the session as his team looked under the bonnet of his SEAT León WTCC.