Santiago Urrutia quickest again in final WTCR practice session of the year

For the second practice session in a row, Santiago Urrutia was the quickest driver amongst the World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) field at Motorland Aragón; the Uruguayan appearing to be in scintillating form ahead of qualifying.

With no fog in sight, the final practice session of the year ran without any further weather delays, much to the relief of drivers, teams and fans alike.

At the start of proceedings, it was the WTCR’s French contingent who started most strongly, with Jean-Karl Vernay, Yann Ehrlacher and Nathanaël Berthon all trading places towards the top of the time sheets.

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It had looked as though the session would go entirely uninterrupted, however with ten minutes to go, José Manuel Sapag then clattered into the new tyre stacks for the second time in as many sessions. On this occasion though, he managed to hit them with enough force to break the front-right suspension on his Hyundai.

The wildcard driver attempted to drag his car back to pit-lane, and in fact got tantalisingly close to reaching his destination, with the car eventually grinding to a halt as he neared pit entry.

Left stranded on track like a sitting duck, the stewards had no choice but to temporarily red-flag the session in order to remove the car out of harm’s way.

When practice resumed, Cyan Racing’s most in-form driver made his return to the top of the timesheets. Following on from three podium finishes during the previous round, Urrutia has emerged as the early weekend pacesetter this time out with a lap time of 2 minutes 13.540 seconds.

Vernay wound up just a tenth of a second further back however in second place, while Mikel Azcona once again looked sharp in third.

Berthon appears to be Comtoyou Racing’s best-performing driver this weekend, claiming fourth place on the leaderboard ahead of championship leader Ehrlacher to complete the top five.

Yvan Muller went sixth fastest, around eight tenths of a second off the pace of his session-leading team-mate. Gabriele Tarquini, meanwhile, was flying the flag for Hyundai in seventh.

The fourth Lynk & Co of Thed Björk survived a half-spin at turn one to finish practice in eighth position, while the Honda duo of Néstor Girolami and Attila Tassi rounded out the top ten.

The real story from this session however, was the lack of track time for title contender Esteban Guerrieri. Already on the back foot after a poor practice one, the Argentine’s car was left stuck in pit lane with a brake issue.

Guerrieri therefore has a mountain to climb in qualifying, which should begin shortly at 15:00 CEST (14:00 GMT).

Session results

POS NO DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 12 Santiago URRUTIA Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 2:13.540 0.000
2 69 Jean-Karl VERNAY Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 10 2:13.668 0.128
3 96 Mikel AZCONA Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 11 2:14.143 0.603
4 17 Nathanaël BERTHON Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 10 2:14.310 0.770
5 68 Yann EHRLACHER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 2:14.322 0.782
6 100 Yvan MULLER Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 2:14.355 0.815
7 30 Gabriele TARQUINI BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 2:14.375 0.835
8 11 Thed BJÖRK Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR 11 2:14.488 0.948
9 29 Néstor GIROLAMI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 2:14.609 1.069
10 9 Attila TASSI ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 2:14.742 1.202
11 1 Norbert MICHELISZ BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 2:14.777 1.237
12 8 Luca ENGSTLER Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 2:14.866 1.326
13 16 Gilles MAGNUS Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS TCR 8 2:14.942 1.402
14 34 Aurélien COMTE Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR 11 2:15.040 1.500
15 55 Bence BOLDIZS Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 11 2:15.307 1.767
16 25 Luca FILIPPI Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR 10 2:15.354 1.814
17 31 Tom CORONEL Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS3 LMS TCR 12 2:15.372 1.832
18 18 Tiago MONTEIRO ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 11 2:15.435 1.895
19 27 Mitchell CHEAH Min Jie Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR 11 2:16.631 3.091
20 99 Gábor KISMARTY-LECHNER Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición 11 2:17.666 4.126
21 28 José Manuel SAPAG Target Competition Hyundai i30 N TCR 4 2:19.965 6.425
22 86 Esteban GUERRIERI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type-R FK8 TCR 0 No time
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