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Gabriele Tarquini keeps Honda top in first practice

Gabriele Tarquini kept Honda at the top of the timesheets in Hungary as he took his Honda Civic to the fastest time in the first World Touring Car Championship practice session at the Hungaroring.

Click here for the full first practice results.

Italian Tarquini remained the fastest driver throughout the 30-minute warm-up session, as he posted a time of 1:54.889 to beat team-mate Tiago Monteiro to the top by 0.125 seconds. Tarquini was optimistic, despite carrying 30 kg more compensation weight than last weekend in Slovakia.

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“What we want to understand now is the car with 30 kg more ballast than Bratislava,” said Tarquini. “I think the shape of the track is very similar to Bratislava and it seems to suit our characteristics very well at the moment. I’m quite optimistic for the weekend, even if the car is carrying more weight.”

RML’s Yvan Muller was third fastest, 0.204 seconds back, although the Frenchman had been second fastest for the majority of the session until Monteiro pipped him in the closing minutes.

Local driver Norbert Michelisz was fourth in his Zengő Motorsport-run Honda, whilst WTCC returnee Hugo Valente was an impressive fifth fastest and the top Yokohama Independent in the second Campos Racing SEAT, in only the Frenchman’s second WTCC event and after completing the fewest laps of any driver.

Pepe Oriola put his SEAT sixth fastest, ahead of the top BMW of Tom Coronel in seventh. The top ten was completed by Brits Rob Huff, James Nash and Tom Chilton.

Both LADAs struggled for pace throughout the session, with James Thompson only able to manage 22nd and Mikhail Kozlovskiy 24th, with only Münnich Motorsport’s René Münnich splitting the pair.

The session was largely without incident, with several drivers locking up into the turn one hairpin and a few going wide, including Tarquini on two occasions. Charles Kaki Ng was shown the black flag near the end of the session for exceeding the track limits too often.

Second free practice takes place at 11:45 CEST (10:45 GMT).

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