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.
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).
|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|