Ma Qing Hua tops first WTCR practice at Ningbo

Ma Qing Hua tops first WTCR practice at Ningbo

Ma Qing Hua
Photo: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

Home hereo Ma Qing Hua put his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo on top of the times in first practice for the FIA World Touring Car Cup at the Ningbo Speedpark in China, edging out Honda’s Néstor Girolami by less than a tenth of a second.

Ma’s lap of 1 minute 51.419 seconds was enough to put him on top of the times towards the end of the 45-minute session, as Münnich Motorsport’s Girolami came closest to denying the Chinese driver the top spot at his home circuit.

Championship leader Esteban Guerrieri was third, two tenths further back from his team-mate, ahead of the leading Hyundai of Nicky Catsburg in fourth.

Augusto Farfus was immediately behind his BRC Racing team-mate in fifth, whilst SLR’s Rob Huff was the leading Volkswagen racer in sixth, the Brit having been fastest of all after half an hour before slipping down the order in the final 15 minutes.

PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona was the best CUPRA driver in seventh, ahead of the Comtoyou Racing CUPRA of Aurélien Panis in eighth.

The leading Audi of Frédéric Vervisch and SLR’s Benjamin Leuchter completed the top ten, with both drivers being over a second off the pace.

Despite a Balance of Performance [BoP] change relating to the boost pressures ahead of the event, none of the drivers for Chinese car manufacturer Lynk & Co made the top ten, with Yvan Muller the best in 12th. The engine power level of the car remains at 97.5% along with the Hyundais.

Second practice gets underway at 09:00 local time (02:00 BST, 03:00 CEST) on Saturday, followed by qualifying for race one at 11:00 local time.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 18 1:51.419 0.000
2 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 19 1:51.495 0.076
3 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 1:51.725 0.306
4 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 1:51.974 0.555
5 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 16 1:52.018 0.599
6 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 1:52.225 0.806
7 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 19 1:52.303 0.884
8 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 14 1:52.339 0.920
9 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 1:52.430 1.011
10 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 1:52.548 1.129
11 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 18 1:52.552 1.133
12 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 1:52.559 1.140
13 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 1:52.603 1.184
14 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 1:52.898 1.479
15 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 13 1:52.898 1.479
16 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 17 1:52.941 1.522
17 37 Daniel HAGLÖF PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 16 1:52.962 1.543
18 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 17 1:52.976 1.557
19 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 1:53.027 1.608
20 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 13 1:53.033 1.614
21 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 16 1:53.084 1.665
22 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 17 1:53.166 1.747
23 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 18 1:53.444 2.025
24 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 1:53.721 2.302
25 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 1:53.863 2.444
26 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 19 1:54.099 2.680