Pepe Oriola declared himself ‘satisfied’ with being second fastest in the Friday test session ahead of rounds 19 and 20 of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship at Suzuka.
Having taken a podium finish in the SEAT Leon last year, the 30 minute session represented his first time on the 2.24km circuit at the wheel of the Chevrolet Cruze and the session was spent completing set up and development work.
In a session which featured three separate red flag periods, the Spanish youngster showed his speed as he set the second fastest time on the his first attempt before being held up in traffic while going faster once again.
He secured second overall in the final part – after the final red flag – and narrowly missed out on topping the times, with his lap time being 0.022s slower than fellow Chevrolet driver Yvan Muller.
“I am very satisfied with the work done,” Oriola said. “We spent the session working on the car setup, which has had good balance. The track was very busy, with interruptions and heavy traffic, but we have completed our work without problems.”
“We’re there with the best, just 22 thousandths separate us from Muller, so our goal for tomorrow is to continue down this line and get the most out of the qualifying.”
Oriola is back on track at 1am BST, 2am CEST and 9am JST for Free Practice one with qualifying ahead of round 19 taking place at 07.30 BST, 08.30 CEST and 15.30JST.