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Gianni Morbidelli comfortably clear in Monza testing

WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli set the benchmark time in testing for the TCR International Series at Monza in Italy, going over a second faster than Target Competition’s Stefano Comini.

Morbidelli posted the best time in the afternoon session, the fourth of four sessions run for TCR cars at the circuit on Friday.

“We have done good work today,” said Morbidelli. “I feel very comfortable with the car, and it was easy to get close to the limit, but it doesn’t mean much. I am sure that tomorrow the SEAT cars will be much faster. We have seen this happening on Friday in previous events, so we need to stay cautious and continue working.”

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All drivers except one, Proteam Racing’s Tom Boardman, improved their time in the fourth session, which took place just after lunch. The Brit is in Italy to shake down the Onyx-built car, and is not entered as a driver on the official entry list. The team continued to experience teething gearbox problems with the new Ford Focus.

Behind second-placed Comini, Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola was third fastest. Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Lorenzo Veglia was fourth fastest, ahead of the SEAT of Jordi Gené in fifth.

The second WestCoast Racing Honda of Kevin Gleason was sixth, ahead of series newcomer Antonio D’Amico in seventh with the Italian the last driver to be within two seconds of the pace.

There are no Audi TT cars present this weekend, with series organisers WSC Ltd having ended the exemption which allowed the German team to run the cars in the opening four rounds of the championship. As a result, Team Principal Franz Engstler is not racing this weekend, as his outfit focusses on running the SEAT León cars for Veglia and Mikhail Grachev.

Session results

1 10 Gianni MORBIDELLI West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 29 2:00.691 0.000
2 25 Stefano COMINI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 36 2:01.730 1.039
3 74 Pepe ORIOLA Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 34 2:01.815 1.124
4 7 Lorenzo VEGLIA Liqui Moly Team Engstler SEAT León Racer 34 2:02.171 1.480
5 88 Jordi GENÉ Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 32 2:02.235 1.544
6 24 Kevin GLEASON West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 36 2:02.400 1.709
7 36 Antonio D’AMICO B.D. Racing Motorsport SEAT León Racer 34 2:02.645 1.954
8 46 Zsolt Dávid SZABÓ Zengő Motorsport SEAT León Racer 41 2:02.763 2.072
9 20 Igor SKUZ West Coast Racing Honda Civic TCR 40 2:02.981 2.290
10 17 Michel NYKJÆR Target Competition SEAT León Racer 34 2:03.015 2.324
11 8 Mikhail GRACHEV Liqui Moly Team Engstler SEAT León Racer 35 2:03.039 2.348
12 33 Andrea BELICCHI Target Competition SEAT León Racer 34 2:03.101 2.410
13 77 Sergey AFANASYEV Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL SEAT León Racer 30 2:03.345 2.654
14 19 Fernando MONJE Campos Racing Opel Astra OPC 19 2:03.725 3.034
15 90 Davide RODA Zengő Motorsport SEAT León Racer 54 2:04.886 4.195
16 71 Tom BOARDMAN Proteam Racing Ford Focus ST 6 2:13.676 12.985

Complete session results.

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