Comtoyou Racing’s Mehdi Bennani was the pace-setter in the first TCR Europe free practice session at Monza, which was heavily affected by thunderstorms and rain.
Bennani posted the fastest time of 2 minutes 2.814 seconds in the opening minutes of the session, which began on a damp track.
The closest anyone came to the Moroccan was the Honda of Mike Halder, who ended up in second over two seconds adrift of the Audi driver.
“It’s always good to be P1 in a session, but it began dry and then went full wet, so we cannot learn anything from the lap times,” said Bennani.
“We really had a lot of rain during the session and it was a big challenge just to keep the car on track; I was aquaplaning before Ascari and the Parabolica.
“We’ll see over the weekend how we are, but that didn’t tell us anything. We don’t know whether or not the Audi will be quick this weekend.”
The entire field was well spaced out, with the top ten covered by more than ten seconds in the Autumnal Italian weather.
Brutal Fish Racing’s Pepe Oriola was third, ahead of one-off entrant Felice Jelmini in fourth, who was the top Hyundai driver over three seconds adrift.
Luca Rangoni gave the new Fiat Tipo TCR an encouraging initial session, posting the fifth quickest time in the tricky conditions.
The session was eventually red-flagged four laps from the finish when series returnee Evgenii Leonov went off at the first chicane and hit the barriers in the difficult wet conditions.
Second practice is scheduled to get underway at 15:50 CEST (14:50 BST).
|1||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:02.814||0.000|
|2||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||2:04.974||2.160|
|3||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||2:05.679||2.865|
|4||44||Felice JELMINI||PMA Motorsport||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2:05.892||3.078|
|5||64||Luca RANGONI||Tecnodom Sport||Fiat Tipo TCR||7||2:06.207||3.393|
|6||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:09.435||6.621|
|7||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||9||2:11.058||8.244|
|8||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||2:14.524||11.710|
|9||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||2:16.190||13.376|
|10||15||Kevin GIACON||Tecnodom Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||8||2:16.228||13.414|
|11||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||2:17.149||14.335|
|12||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||7||2:17.814||15.000|
|13||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||8||2:18.782||15.968|
|14||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||7||2:18.979||16.165|
|15||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||2:19.230||16.416|
|16||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:19.258||16.444|
|17||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||2:19.413||16.599|
|18||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||7||2:31.945||29.131|
|19||10||Viktor DAVIDOVSKI||PSS Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||3||2:35.142||32.328|
|20||81||Stéphane VENTAJA||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||6||2:37.360||34.546|
|21||66||Gilles COLOMBANI||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||8||2:38.429||35.615|
|22||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||2||2:39.975||37.161|
|23||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||0||No time||N/A|