Brutal Fish Racing Team’s Dan Lloyd set the fastest time of the opening free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps in his final run.
The British driver’s 2 minute 31.468 time was just 0.021 seconds quicker than long-time session leader Andreas Bäckman, who had looked set to continue his fine form after winning race two in Barcelona a fortnight ago.
But the Swede had to instead for settle for second quickest in the half an hour session, with Jimmy Clairet claiming third, but was 0.223 seconds adrift of Bäckman.
A set of improved times from several drivers in the field saw the leaderboard change late on, with Jimmy’s brother Teddy Clairet finishing fourth quickest and was just a mere 0.008 seconds behind.
Julien Briché made it three Peugeot 308 TCRs in the top five, with the JSB Competition driver finishing ahead of the leading ComToYou Racing entrant Sami Taoufik.
Taoufik finished ahead of teammates and championship rivals Nicola Baert and Mehdi Bennani at the home event for the Belgian team, with the trio taking sixth, seventh and eighth in free practice one.
The top 10 were completed by Pepe Oriola in the second of the Brutal Fish Racing Team Honda’s and John Filippi in another of the Target Competition Hyundai’s.
Championship leader heading to Spa, Mike Halder, could only manage 17th fastest in the Profi Car Team Halder Honda, while 2018 TCR Europe champion Mikel Azcona had a terrible start to his championship return.
The WTCR regular, who is making a one-off appearance this weekend driving a Volcano Motorsport CUPRA TCR, didn’t set a time in the session on Thursday afternoon.
Tom Coronel, another driver who returns to TCR Europe this weekend, finished FP1 in 16th, while Nicola Baldan – who gives the new CUPRA Leon Competición its debut this weekend – took 13th.
The second free practice session at Spa-Francorchamps takes place tomorrow morning at 09:00 CEST (08:00 BST).
|1||123||Daniel LLOYD||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||2:31.468||0.000|
|2||19||Andreas BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||2:31.489||0.021|
|3||21||Jimmy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||2:31.712||0.244|
|4||20||Teddy CLAIRET||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||11||2:31.720||0.252|
|5||24||Julien BRICHÉ||JSB Compétition||Peugeot 308 TCR||10||2:31.750||0.282|
|6||25||Sami TAOUFIK||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||11||2:31.939||0.471|
|7||8||Nicolas BAERT||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||10||2:32.118||0.650|
|8||250||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Racing||Audi RS3 LMS TCR||9||2:32.444||0.976|
|9||74||Pepe ORIOLA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||9||2:32.921||1.453|
|10||27||John FILIPPI||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||2:33.173||1.705|
|11||33||José Manuel SAPAG||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||2:33.180||1.712|
|12||17||Martin RYBA||Brutal Fish Racing Team||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||2:33.221||1.753|
|13||18||Nicola BALDAN||Elite Racing||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||10||2:33.228||1.760|
|14||70||Mat’o HOMOLA||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||9||2:33.250||1.782|
|15||99||Dániel NAGY||BRC Racing Team||Hyundai i30 N TCR||5||2:33.408||1.940|
|16||31||Tom CORONEL||Boutsen Ginion Racing||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||8||2:33.477||2.009|
|17||7||Mike HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||11||2:34.383||2.915|
|18||26||Jessica BÄCKMAN||Target Competition||Hyundai i30 N TCR||10||2:34.575||3.107|
|19||16||Evgenii LEONOV||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||10||2:34.790||3.322|
|20||53||Michelle HALDER||Profi Car Team Halder||Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR||10||2:35.103||3.635|
|21||81||Stéphane VENTAJA||Team Clairet Sport||Peugeot 308 TCR||9||2:36.814||5.346|
|22||96||Mikel AZCONA||Volcano Motorsport||CUPRA TCR||0||No time||N/A|