Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz set the pace in Thursday testing for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) in Macau, ending the session just over two tenths faster than Citroën’s Yvan Muller and José María López.
In the first session of the entire weekend it was the Honda drivers who set the pace. Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani had been on top of the times for most of the session but, with continual improvements, it was Hungarian Michelisz who ended as the fastest driver.
Moroccan Bennani ended the session in fourth, 1.630 seconds off the paced after his initial effort. Only two other drivers – Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb and Honda’s Tiago Monteiro – ended the session within two seconds of the pace in fifth and sixth respectively.
On his first time behind the wheel of a TC1 car in anger, Campos Racing’s Pepe Oriola ended the session as the top Chevrolet driver in seventh, ahead of ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton and Campos team-mate Hugo Valente.
Tom Coronel, celebrating 25 years of racing this weekend, completed the top ten in the second ROAL Chevrolet, ending the session 3.180 seconds off the pace.
On the final weekend for the TC1 LADA Granta, Rob Huff was 12th fastest, just behind the returning fourth Citroën of Ma Qing Hua. Huff was 3.244 seconds off the pace at the WTCC’s longest circuit, on a weekend where the LADA team are optimistic of being able to score a strong result.
There were problems for 16th-placed Mikhail Kozlovskiy, however, who had to pit for repairs early on after his LADA stopped on-track with differential problems.
Franz Engstler was the fastest of a season-best TC2T field of six cars, with the BMW driver ending the session in 17th position over 13 seconds off the pace. The next best TC2 entry, team-mate Filipe Clemente de Souza, was almost three seconds further back behind the German.
|1||5||TC1||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||8||2:27.708|
|2||1||TC1||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||8||2:27.954||0.246|
|3||37||TC1||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||2:28.533||0.825|
|4||25||TC1||Mehdi BENNANI||Proteam Racing||Honda Civic WTCC||8||2:29.338||1.630|
|5||9||TC1||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||8||2:29.580||1.872|
|6||18||TC1||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||8||2:29.657||1.949|
|7||74||TC1||Pepe ORIOLA||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||8||2:30.123||2.415|
|8||3||TC1||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||7||2:30.158||2.450|
|9||7||TC1||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||8||2:30.334||2.626|
|10||4||TC1||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||8||2:30.888||3.180|