Chevrolet drivers Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller admitted that the Circuito da Guia in Macau was proving to be particularly challenging in Thursday testing, as they posted the 3rd, 7th and 23rd best times respectively.
British racer Huff finished the 30 minute session as the third fastest driver, which was ultimately topped by Honda’s Tiago Monteiro. Huff, who has won five of the past eight races around the street circuit, including the two held in 2011, bemoaned the various interruptions throughout the session. The session was ultimately red-flagged three minutes early as Darryl O’Young in an independently entered Chevrolet Cruze crashed head-on into the barriers at the Mandarin Oriental corner.
“I had a good session and am happy with how the car performed,” explained points leader Huff. “I think we deserved a faster time, but I only managed one fast lap as there were many flag periods.
“The track is still very green and dusty. It’s easy to make a mistake, especially if you leave the ideal racing line by just a few centimeters. I hope the track gets better quickly.”
Menu trails Huff by 35 points and echoed Huff’s comments. With conditions overcast and unusually mild in Macau, grip levels were lower than they have previously been at the circuit. “The track is very slippery and there is little proper work you can do on set up and balance in these conditions,” said Menu. “We didn’t have much front grip, so I guess we will have to wait until tomorrow to have some first meaningful indications.”
Muller, who still has an outside shot at the title, finished the session down in 23rd, 9.999 seconds off the pace. “Today was not a very useful session as the track was not in its normal conditions, yet,” admitted the Frenchman. “The car seems OK, but it’s too early to say. To top it all, there were a number of flag interruptions today and I couldn’t even complete a single fast lap.”
The first official free practice session takes place at 08:30 local time (00:30 GMT, 01:30 CET).
“I had a good session and am happy with how the car performed. I think we deserved a faster time, but I only managed one fast lap as there were many flag periods.“The track is still very green and dusty. It’s easy to make a mistake, especially if you leave the ideal racing line by just a few centimeters. I hope the track gets better quickly.”