Norbert Michelisz on top in opening Macau practice

Norbert Michelisz on top in opening Macau practice

Norbert Michelisz
Photo: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz set the pace in the first free practice session for the FIA World Touring Car Cup on the streets of Macau, edging out the Lynk & Co of Yvan Muller in the closing minutes of the session.

Michelisz’s time of 2 minutes 30.460 seconds was good enough to edge out the Frenchman by 0.139 seconds after Muller had beaten it briefly with around ten minutes to go. Michelisz then put in a new fast lap to return to the top of the times at the circuit where he claimed his first WTCC win.

WRT’s Jean-Karl Vernay was third fastest, putting in a strong effort in the Audi at the circuit where he claimed a victory in 2018.

SLR’s Rob Huff was fourth fastest as the best Volkswagen driver, ahead of Yann Ehrlacher’s Lynk & Co in fifth.

Comtoyou Racing’s Tom Coronel was an impressive sixth quickest in the leading CUPRA, ahead of a strong showing by Andy Priaulx in seventh in his Lynk & Co.

BRC’s Nicky Catsburg was eighth, whilst the top ten was completed by PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona and SLR’s Mehdi Bennani.

Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini only completed three laps after crashing into the barriers early on, bringing out the red flags. Although the Italian’s Hyundai was not significantly damaged in the incident he was unable to rejoin the session.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 17 2:30.460 0.000
2 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 2:30.599 0.139
3 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 16 2:30.751 0.291
4 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 14 2:30.894 0.434
5 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 2:31.060 0.600
6 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 14 2:31.128 0.668
7 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 15 2:31.365 0.905
8 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 2:31.428 0.968
9 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 16 2:31.435 0.975
10 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 13 2:31.494 1.034
11 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 2:31.526 1.066
12 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 13 2:31.649 1.189
13 2 Robert DAHLGREN PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 15 2:31.673 1.213
14 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 2:32.108 1.648
15 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 16 2:32.192 1.732
16 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 14 2:32.224 1.764
17 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 16 2:32.426 1.966
18 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 13 2:32.488 2.028
19 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 2:32.617 2.157
20 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 15 2:32.985 2.525
21 6 Luca ENGSTLER BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 15 2:33.166 2.706
22 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 16 2:33.169 2.709
23 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 12 2:33.311 2.851
24 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 13 2:33.530 3.070
25 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 2:33.934 3.474
26 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 3 2:34.938 4.478
27 36 Billy LO Kai Fung Tian Shi Zuver Team Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 2:35.669 5.209
28 19 Jim KA TO KC Motorgroup Honda Civic Type R TCR 12 2:36.046 5.586
29 98 James TANG Chi Lun Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR 15 2:40.514 10.054
30 99 Arthur LAW Tia Fan Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR 8 2:41.540 11.080
31 59 Kwai Wah WONG Son Veng Racing Team Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 15 2:42.835 12.375
32 97 Terence TSE King Leung Team TRC Honda Civic Type R TCR 14 2:53.177 22.717