Mikel Azcona edges out Norbert Michelisz in second Sepang practice

Mikel Azcona edges out Norbert Michelisz in second Sepang practice

Mikel Azcona
Photo: Gregory Lenormand / DPPI

PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona set the fastest time in the second FIA World Touring Car Cup practice session at Sepang in Malaysia, as he beat BRC Racing’s Norbert Michelisz by just over two tenths of a second.

Azcona put in the quickest lap with just under ten minutes left in the session to go quickest of the weekend so far in his CUPRA, as first practice pace-setter and championship challenger Michelisz was second.

Michelisz’s Hyundai team-mate, reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini, was third fastest, ahead of Team Mulsanne’s Ma Qing Hua in fourth in his Alfa Romeo.

Comtoyou Racing’s Frédéric Vervisch was the leading Audi driver in fifth, ahead of BRC’s Nicky Catsburg in sixth, just over three tenths off the pace.

Augusto Farfus, returning to the series after skipping the previous event in Macau, was seventh behind his Hyundai team-mate, ahead of Comtoyou Racing CUPRA driver Aurélien Panis in eighth.

The Audi of Niels Langeveld and the leading Honda of Tiago Monteiro completed the top ten, the latter just 0.491 seconds off the pace in a close session.

Néstor Girolami edged out Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri, with the Honda duo in 11th and 12th respectively.

Lynk & Co drivers struggled for pace, with title contender Yvan Muller only 15th, nine tenths off Azcona’s time. His Cyan Racing team-mate Thed Björk was just 23rd.

Of the wildcard racers, Malaysian MotoGP ace Hafizh Syahrin was the best in 20th, 1.3 seconds off the pace in his Engstler Motorsport Hyundai. João Paulo de Oliveira was 27th, whilst Mitchell Cheah and Douglas Khoo propped up the timesheet in 29th and 30th respectively.

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 96 Mikel AZCONA PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 11 2:14.989 0.000
2 5 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 2:15.206 0.217
3 1 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 9 2:15.211 0.222
4 55 Ma QING HUA Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 2:15.240 0.251
5 22 Frédéric VERVISCH Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 9 2:15.272 0.283
6 88 Nicky CATSBURG BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:15.291 0.302
7 8 Augusto FARFUS BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:15.373 0.384
8 21 Aurélien PANIS Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 7 2:15.377 0.388
9 10 Niels LANGEVELD Comtoyou Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 2:15.399 0.410
10 18 Tiago MONTEIRO KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 10 2:15.408 0.419
11 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 7 2:15.463 0.474
12 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR 7 2:15.714 0.725
13 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 7 2:15.752 0.763
14 37 Daniel HAGLÖF PWR Racing CUPRA TCR 9 2:15.889 0.900
15 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 2:15.893 0.904
16 12 Rob HUFF SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 2:15.942 0.953
17 52 Gordon SHEDDEN Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 7 2:16.077 1.088
18 9 Attila TASSI KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR 8 2:16.177 1.188
19 111 Andy PRIAULX Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 10 2:16.211 1.222
20 15 Hafizh SYAHRIN Bin Abdullah Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 10 2:16.367 1.378
21 31 Kevin CECCON Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta TCR 9 2:16.424 1.435
22 33 Benjamin LEUCHTER SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 9 2:16.460 1.471
23 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Racing Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 2:16.559 1.570
24 14 Johan KRISTOFFERSSON SLR Volkswagen Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 7 2:16.573 1.584
25 50 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing CUPRA TCR 8 2:16.834 1.845
26 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR 8 2:16.888 1.899
27 38 João Paulo Lima DE OLIVEIRA KC Motorgroup Honda Civic Type R TCR 9 2:16.970 1.981
28 25 Mehdi BENNANI SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTi TCR 11 2:17.059 2.070
29 27 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Hyundai Team Engstler Hyundai i30 N TCR 8 2:17.440 2.451
30 65 Douglas KHOO Kok Hui Viper Niza Racing CUPRA TCR 11 2:20.578 5.589