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Gabriele Tarquini sets the pace in FP1

Gabriele Tarquini was the quickest driver around the streets of Marrakech in this morning’s first practice session. The Italian went 0.041 seconds quicker than Yvan Muller to top the times with a lap of 1 minute 45.165 seconds.

Click here for the full first practice times.

Reigining champion Muller was once again the fastest Chevrolet, although team-mate Rob Huff was close behind in third fastest, 0.331 seconds slower than Tarquini. Huff had threatened to go faster but a mistake on a hot lap at Turn 10 meant that the Brit could only manage third.

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Tom Chilton, who was second fastest in yesterday’s test session, once again continued to impress for Team Aon and set the fourth fastest time, just over half a second off the pace. He was followed by Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Franz Engstler in fifth, who was the fastest BMW driver around the Moroccan street circuit.

Sefano D’Aste, who took his second-ever WTCC podium last time out in Valencia, was sixth fastest. Tom Coronel and Pepe Oriola were seventh and eighth respectively, whilst local racer Mehdi Bennani and Tiago Monteiro completed the top ten.

The notoriously narrow Marrakech street circuit – which is also very heavy on breaks due to its design featuring long straights into slow chicanes – caught out a few drivers in practice. Alain Menu could only manage 11th quickest after making a mistake and cutting a chicane, whilst D’Aste, James Nash (16th) and Isaac Tutumlu (21st) also struggled at times to get their cars through the chicanes without cutting them.

The second free practice session takes place at 1315 WET (Western European Time), 1415 GMT.

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