Jean-Karl Vernay has topped the opening practice session ahead of this weekend’s TCR International Series races in Sakhir, posting a fastest time of 2:13.565 in the Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi.
James Nash led the session earlier in the Lukoil Craft-Bamboo SEAT Leon, but his 2:13.819 was deposed by Vernay late in the session before the Brit stopped out on circuit with a suspected broken driveshaft.
Dusan Borkovic clocked the third fastest time, another three tenths adrift of the pair.
“Last year I was really quick here, but the car wasn’t really ready to perform,” admitted Vernay.
“The weekend is going to be tough, although I like this warm weather.
“We need to think about a lot of things; tyre degradation, we need to set up the car for the race and also set up the car for Quaifying.
“It’s just like when I arrived in Singapore last year – I didn’t know the track but I was quicker than the other guys. It’s the same here; I don’t think I’m over-driving but the lap time was really good. We need to score more points here than last year here, but my team is incredible and I’m really confident.”
There were on track incidents for Mat O’Homola and the returning Michela Cerruti, the latter after spinning under heavy braking at turn one and brushing the armco barrier.
Reigning champion Stefano Comini could only manage tenth in his Audi RS3 after complaining about the handling.
Second practice will begin at 15:55 local time.
|1||2||Jean-Karl VERNAY||Leopard Racing Team WRT||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||7||2:13.565||0.000|
|2||54||James NASH||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||6||2:13.819||0.254|
|3||62||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||2:14.137||0.572|
|4||16||Davit KAJAIA||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||8||2:14.287||0.722|
|5||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||8||2:14.341||0.776|
|6||5||Roberto COLCIAGO||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||9||2:14.367||0.802|
|7||9||Attila TASSI||M1RA||Honda Civic Type-R TCR||8||2:14.535||0.970|
|8||10||Gianni MORBIDELLI||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||8||2:14.545||0.980|
|9||55||Ferenc FICZA||Zele Racing||SEAT León TCR||8||2:14.718||1.153|
|10||1||Stefano COMINI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:14.734||1.169|
|11||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||5||2:14.839||1.274|
|12||23||Pierre-Yves CORTHALS||DG Sport Compétition||Opel Astra TCR||8||2:14.925||1.360|
|13||7||Hugo VALENTE||Lukoil Craft-Bamboo Racing||SEAT León TCR||9||2:14.934||1.369|
|14||88||Michela CERRUTI||GE-Force||Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR||5||2:15.178||1.613|
|15||21||Giacomo ALTOÈ||West Coast Racing||Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR||9||2:16.007||2.442|
|16||18||Duncan ENDE||Icarus Motorsports||SEAT León TCR||8||2:18.115||4.550|