Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini continued to set the pace in first practice for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the Twin Ring Motegi, again beating Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz to the top time.
The Italian once again topped the session by over half a second, leading Michelisz by 0.638 seconds by going marginally faster than he had earlier been on Friday.
“The engine was better than yesterday and I was very happy with the set-up,” said Tarquini. “We changed many things since yesterday and it seems correct. And having the provisional pole gives me more confidence than yesterday.
“The car feels great to drive and I am very happy at this track. There are many positive things for the weekend.”
Sébastien Loeb was the leading Citroën driver in third, just denying the Honda’s a top three lockout with Tiago Monteiro ending the half-hour session in fourth and the last driver within a second of his team-mate’s pace.
The remaining four Citroëns were next, with Yvan Muller in fifth ahead of independent Mehdi Bennani in sixth. Ma Qing Hua just pipped championship leader José María López to seventh, with the Argentine driver 1.499 seconds off the pace.
LADA drivers Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg completed the top ten, whilst their new team-mate Nicolas Lapierre was 16th fastest as the Frenchman continues to get up to speed with racing front-wheel drive machinery.
Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente was the leading Chevrolet driver in 11th, ahead of ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton, with the duo being the only drivers of the RML-built machinery within two seconds of the pace.
|1||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||9||1:57.127||0.000|
|2||5||Y||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||8||1:57.765||0.638|
|3||9||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||1:57.988||0.861|
|4||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||7||1:58.074||0.947|
|5||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||7||1:58.228||1.101|
|6||25||Y||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||1:58.308||1.181|
|7||33||MA Qing Hua||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||1:58.419||1.292|
|8||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||6||1:58.626||1.499|
|9||12||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||7||1:58.716||1.589|
|10||10||Nick CATSBURG||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||8||1:58.720||1.593|
|11||7||Y||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||8||1:58.795||1.668|
|12||3||Y||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||1:58.883||1.756|
|13||4||Y||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||1:59.236||2.109|
|14||27||Y||John FILIPPI||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||1:59.549||2.422|
|15||26||Y||Stefano D’ASTE||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||10||1:59.720||2.593|
|16||47||Nicolas LAPIERRE||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||8||1:59.819||2.692|
|17||11||Y||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||Craft-Bamboo Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||7||2:00.293||3.166|