Leopard Racing duo Jean-Karl Vernay and Stefano Comini set the pace in first practice for the TCR International Series on the streets of Singapore, with Vernay just over a second clear of the entire field.
The Frenchman hit the top of the times with just under half of the session remaining, which took place in daylight conditions at the Formula One-supporting event.
“It’s a very positive first contact with this track, which I didn’t know, and I am even surprised of my result,” said Vernay after he dominated the session. “The track was very dirty, and I missed the track limits a couple of times when still exploring the circuit and learning it.
“I checked Stefano’s lines to try to learn faster, and when I put on new tyres at the end, the lap times came. The feeling is good, and I always liked a lot street circuits, now we can start working on the set-up.”
Behind Comini was B3 Racing’s Dušan Borković in third, less than a tenth slower than the Volkswagen driver, whilst Mikhail Grachev was the leading Honda driver in fourth.
Craft-Bamboo Racing’s championship contender Pepe Oriola was fifth fastest, ahead of team-mate Sergey Afanasyev in sixth.
WestCoast Racing’s Gianni Morbidelli was seventh quickest in his rebuilt Honda Civic, whilst Target Competition’s Loris Hezemans was the best of the single-event entrants this weekend, putting his SEAT in eighth, and being the last driver within two seconds of the pace.
Championship leader James Nash could only manage 11th fastest in his SEAT, just ahead of series returnee Kevin Gleason in 12th, and the Opel of Jordi Oriola in 13th, despite a problem with the hydraulic piping of the gearbox on his car.
Further back there were also positive first steps for the new FRD Motorsport-developed Ford Focus of Martin Cao Hongwei, who was 15th, with his team fine-tuning the setup during the half-hour session.
Petr Fulín was 17th quickest after an engine which was running on only three cylinders, leaving him down the order with the overheating Target Competition honda of Rafaël Galiana.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s second driver this weekend, Filipe Clemente de Souza, was the only driver not to post a competitive time due to electrical gremlins on the Volkswagen Golf GTi.
Qualifying takes place at 14:40 local time on Saturday (07:40 BST, 08:40 CEST).
|1||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||14||2:25.570||0.000|
|2||1||Stefano COMINI||Leopard Racing||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||14||2:26.572||1.002|
|3||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||13||2:26.629||1.059|
|4||8||Mikhail GRACHEV||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||14||2:26.791||1.221|
|5||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||11||2:26.817||1.247|
|6||77||Sergey AFANASYEV||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||13||2:27.008||1.438|
|7||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||10||2:27.070||1.500|
|8||50||Loris HEZEMANS||Target Competition||SEAT León Cup Racer||12||2:27.262||1.692|
|9||9||Attila TASSI||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||13||2:27.603||2.033|
|10||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||B3 Racing Team Hungary||SEAT León TCR||13||2:27.644||2.074|
|11||54||James NASH||Team Craft-Bamboo LUKOIL||SEAT León TCR||14||2:28.127||2.557|
|12||24||Kevin GLEASON||West Coast Racing||Honda Civic TCR||15||2:29.094||3.524|
|13||33||Jordi ORIOLA||Kissling Motorsport||Opel Astra TCR||6||2:29.334||3.764|
|14||7||Davit KAJAIA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||14||2:30.571||5.001|
|15||99||Martin CAO Hongwei||FRD Racing Team||Ford Focus TCR||9||2:30.922||5.352|
|16||35||Rafaël GALIANA||Target Competition||Honda Civic TCR||10||2:31.125||5.555|
|17||22||Petr FULÍN||Mulsanne Racing||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||6||2:33.113||7.543|
|18||64||Neric WEI Chaoyin||Son Veng Racing Team||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||13||2:36.435||10.865|
|19||65||Douglas KHOO Kok Hui||Viper Niza Racing||SEAT León Cup Racer||14||2:38.328||12.758|
|20||68||Filipe Clemente DE SOUZA||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Volkswagen Golf Gti TCR||3||No time||N/A|