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Alain Menu tops Curitiba test

Alain Menu led a Chevrolet 1, 2, 3 in the first on track action since the resumption of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship during the first test at the Curitiba circuit in Brazil.

Rob Huff in the sister Chevrolet had set the pace early on and wasn’t challenged until the closing minutes, having improved his own best time with 6 and a ½ minutes of the session remaining.

The British driver was the first driver below the 1m23 barrier, having set a 1m22.916s, which was bettered by his Swiss team-mate just before the chequered flag was waved. Menu finished 0.173s faster than Huff, having set a 1m22.743s.

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Championship leader Yvan Muller was third fastest in the third Chevrolet Cruze, 0.200s slower than Menu while best of the rest was Gabriele Tarquini, who put his Lukoil Racing Team SEAT Leon fourth fastest overall, 0.829s slower than the session topping time.

Top Yokohama Independent runner was Alex MacDowall, the British driver finishing fifth overall in the bamboo engineering Chevrolet Cruze while returning to the series and finishing sixth fastest in the sister Cruze was Michel Nyjkaer, the Danish driver being a late replacement for the unwell Pasquale Di Sabatino.

Top BMW driver at the end of the 30 minute session was the ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC of Tom Coronel, who finished seventh fastest with Stefano D’Aste in the Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC eighth.

The top ten was completed by Tiago Monteiro in the SEAT Tuenti Racing Team SunRed SR Leon 1.6T and Tom Chilton in the Team Aon Ford Focus.

The only issue of the 30 minute session came with six minutes remaining when the Special Tuning Racing SEAT Leon WTCC of Tom Boardman ended up in the gravel at turn 8, bringing out the yellow flags for 3 minutes.

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