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Gabriele Tarquini tops Slovakia practice

Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini showed that his Honda team have strong pace in Slovakia by setting the pace in the first free practice session for the World Touring Car Championship in Slovakia.

Click here for the full first practice times.

Tarquini posted a quickest lap of 2:12.215 to beat Honda team-mate Tiago Monteiro to the top time by 0.397 seconds. Tarquini’s time came despite the experienced racer complaining of yet more issues with the brakes on his new Civic.

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Tom Coronel provided some good news for his ROAL Motorsport team by going third fastest, despite experiencing a number of slides and trips through the gravel trap during the 30-minute session.

RML’s Yvan Muller was the top Chevrolet driver in fourth, ahead of team-mate Tom Chilton in fifth who was the last driver to be within a second of Tarquini’s pace.

Rob Huff took his Münnich Motorsport SEAT to fifth, although it was a difficult session overall for the German team as Marc Basseng and René Münnich could only manage 19th and 23rd.

Several drivers experienced trips through the gravel trap like Coronel, with Fernando Monje and Fredy Barth both off the circuit in the second half of the session.

Norbert Michelisz was 13th and suffered yet more dramas with his new Civic, including the floor of his car catching fire in the final ten minutes of the session.

Second free practice takes place at 12:00 CEST (11:00 GMT).

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