Filipe de Souza tops opening Macau practice by nearly two seconds

Filipe de Souza has gone fastest in the first practice session at Macau, posting a lap time of 2 minutes 35.271 seconds in his T.A Motorsport Audi.

The session was halted early on however, following a heavy impact for Kenneth Look in the Elegant Racing Team Cupra through the Solitude Esses. After clipping the right-hand side wall, his car was fired into the left-hand barrier with a great deal of force.

It was enough to rip the front-left wheel clean from the Cupra, resulting in the first red flag stoppage of the session.

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Proceedings got back underway with just fifteen minutes left on the clock, so a rush to complete as many laps as possible ensued.

Hu Heng in the #19 Audi RS3 LMS TCR ran too deep into Lisboa corner, but no damage was done as he managed to divert into the escape road.

In general though, the remainder of the opening practice session was largely clean, however one final incident would end things just a minute sooner than scheduled.

Having misjudged his exit from Maternity Bend, Kevin Lam Ka Chun planted the front of his T.A Motorsport Volkswagen Golf into the barriers, and was unable to move it out of harm’s way.

And so with that, the session was called to a halt. Behind de Souza on the time sheets, Jason Zhang was second quickest with a lap time of 2 minutes 37.2 seconds, while pre-event favourite Rob Huff wound up in third.

But, with qualifying lap times predicted to be around the low 2 minutes 30 seconds mark, there is still clearly plenty of pace for everyone to find.

Henry Lee Junior completed the session as the fourth-quickest driver in his Team NewFaster Audi, around 1.6 seconds slower than Huff’s MG. Sunny Wong, meanwhile, rounded out the top five.

Ma Qing Hua was the best of the two TCR China Series title contenders in the session, ending up as the sixth-fastest driver for Shell Lynk & Co Teamwork Motorsport.

His championship rival Rodolfo Ávila finished in eighth place for MG, with the pair of them being split by the MacPro Racing Team Honda of Ryan Wong in seventh.

Two more MG X-Power cars rounded out the top ten. Ávila’s regular team-mate Zhang Zheng Dong posted a time quick enough for ninth, around half a second quicker than Andy Yan in tenth.

Free Practice Two gets underway at 14:55 CST (06:55 GMT).

 

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