Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Mikhail Grachev flew to the top time in second practice for the TCR International Series in Sochi, ahead of WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli and Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Pepe Oriola.
Grachev admitted after posting the fastest time that he does have the home advantage, as the Russian is the only driver to have raced on the circuit prior to this weekend.
“I do have a slight advantage on this track and I am happy it worked out,” said Grachev. “Still, competition will learn fast, but I hope I can make something good in my home event.”
Behind Grachev, Oriola almost went quicker than the Russian but had his time disallowed for exceeding the track limits, leaving Morbidelli in second and the Spaniard in third.
Russian débutant Aleksey Duduaklo improved on his ranking from first practice, ending the session in fourth ahead of Target Competition’s Stefano Comini in fifth, with the Swiss racer posting his time using old tyres and brake pads.
Jordi Gené was sixth quickest, with the Spaniard feeling confident despite his position. “I still am the fastest driver in sector one, which is the only one where you cannot play with track limits,” he explained. “Here, it all depends on how much you cut the lines, especially in sector two, where kerbs are basically not existent.”
Andrea Belicchi, Tomas Engström, Michel Nykjær and Sergey Afanasyev completed the top ten in their SEAT León cars. Two of the WestCoast Racing Honda’s propped up the timesheets, with Ildar Rakhmatullin beating Kevin Gleason to not be the slowest driver.
Qualifying takes place at 15:10 MST (13:10 BST; 14:10 CEST).
|1||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||SEAT León Racer||11||2:20.993||0.000|
|2||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||10||2:21.174||0.181|
|3||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||9||2:21.187||0.194|
|4||2||Aleksey DUDUKALO||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||8||2:21.484||0.491|
|5||25||Stefano COMINI||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||11||2:21.503||0.510|
|6||88||Jordi GENÉ||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||11||2:21.617||0.624|
|7||33||Andrea BELICCHI||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||10||2:21.817||0.824|
|8||4||Tomas ENGSTRÖM||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||SEAT León Racer||9||2:21.960||0.967|
|9||17||Michel NYKJÆR||Target Competition||SEAT León Racer||10||2:22.007||1.014|
|10||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León Racer||11||2:22.011||1.018|
|11||26||Ildar RAKHMATULLIN||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||9||2:22.937||1.944|
|12||24||Kevin GLEASON||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||8||2:25.210||4.217|