Santiago Urrutia expects to see a pace improvement from the competition as the event progresses at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but asserted his belief the Audi RS 3 LMS is a force to be reckoned with this weekend.
The Uruguayan was second-quickest in the opening practice session behind fellow Audi runner Gilles Magnus, the gap between them just 0.237 seconds.
With no compensation weight on board, Urrutia believes Team WRT are in a strong position heading into the weekend, but believes the Hyundai runners are yet to show their true hand.
“It’s probably too early to say how things will go this weekend. The Hyundais never show what they have in practice, we have seen this the whole season,” he explained.
“But definitely we are quick, we have no weight so that is going to help a lot. For us it was a good practice but we still need to improve a lot, especially as it is going to rain tomorrow.”
Heavy rain and thunderstorms are anticipated at the 2.89-mile Catalan circuit tomorrow, with Urrutia explaining that the weather should erode any advantage running with no compensation weight provides.
It would also mark the first wet-weather session of the season, putting the entire field into unfamiliar territory.
“I’ve never driven the car on wet tyres so everything is going to be different, but it will be different for everyone. The car is quick but it will all change tomorrow,” said Urrutia.
“When you have no weight in the dry, it’s a huge advantage, but when you have no weight in the wet, there is no advantage.
“So, it’s about getting used to how to drive in the wet, the change in the set-up between dry and wet, so it’ll be very difficult tomorrow.”
“But I’m not worried about it, we’re in a good position and if we are quick in FP2, we will be quick in qualifying as well.”
The weekend continues with second practice at 18:05 CEST.