Frédéric Vervisch was surprised at going fastest in the opening TCR International Series practice session at the Dubai Autodrome given he is using a replacement Audi RS 3 LMS TCR this weekend.
With the Comtoyou Racing driver’s usual vehicle still stuck at customs, the team have put together a replacement option for the Belgian, who topped the timesheets ahead of team-mate Denis Dupont by 0.049 seconds.
He also admitted the time had come about as a result of putting new tyres on the car and having an attacking mindset throughout the half-hour session, though he expects his rivals to mount a fightback across the weekend.
“Our car is blocked, so we changed it because we had some issues but surprisingly we are more or less on the pace now. But we need to wait for the races so let’s take it step-by-step, it’s my first time on the track and I think, for many of us, it’s the first time and I think the others can come closer, so we need to see.
“It’s a long time since we were fastest in a session so I’m quite surprised we are there, honestly, but I have to admit we put on new tyres [and] we attacked very hard.
“We still don’t really know where we are but I think we will have a better weekend than we had in previous ones, so that’s good.”
The cars will return to the circuit for the second practice session, scheduled to get underway at 07:50 GMT.