Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff topped the times in a very close opening FIA World Touring Car Cup practice session at MotorLand Aragón in Spain, with the top three drivers covered by a mere 0.004 seconds.
Cyan Racing’s Thed Björk set the pace early on with a time of 2 minutes 7.099 seconds, before Hyundai’s Norbert Michelisz moved to the top of the timesheets after 12 minutes with a lap of 2:06.736.
With 15 minutes to go of the 45-minute session, Michelisz’s BRC Racing team-mate Mikel Azcona then took over at the top, lapping in 2:06.568, but his time only stood for a few minutes as Cyan’s Santiago Urrutia went top on a 2:06.524.
Despite the building heat in Spain, times continued to tumble, and Björk quickly took over at the top with a lap of 2:06.362.
The Swede’s time then stood for seven minutes before Huff, who had been 11th, went just 0.003 seconds quicker than the Lynk & Co driver to snatch the top time just under four minutes from the end.
Björk didn’t improve and ended up in second, whilst third-placed Nathanaël Berthon also put in a fast lap in the final ten minutes to be just 0.001 seconds slower than Björk.
Michelisz ended up in fourth as the top Hyundai driver, ahead of Urrutia in fifth, the Uruguayan still under two tenths from the top time.
Azcona was sixth, ahead of the best of the Hondas, that of Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Attila Tassi, in seventh.
Indeed, it was a difficult session for the Japanese manufacturer, with Esteban Guerrieri, Tiago Monteiro and Néstor Girolami down in three of the bottom four places in 14th, 15th and 17th respectively, all three over a second off the pace.
However the Hondas are the heaviest cars on the grid once again, carrying 40 kg of compensation weight in contrast to the 10 kg carried by the next heaviest cars of Audi and Lynk & Co.
Reigning champion Yann Ehrlacher was eighth, with the top ten being completed by his Cyan Racing team-mate Ma Qing Hua and Comtoyou Racing’s Gilles Magnus.
Second practice is scheduled to get underway at 12:30 CEST (11:30 BST).
|1||79||Rob HUFF||Zengő Motorsport Services Kft||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||16||2:06.359||–|
|2||11||Thed BJÖRK||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||15||2:06.362||0.003|
|3||17||Nathanaël BERTHON||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||16||2:06.363||0.004|
|4||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||15||2:06.373||0.014|
|5||12||Santiago URRUTIA||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||16||2:06.524||0.165|
|6||96||Mikel AZCONA||BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse||Hyundai Elantra N TCR||16||2:06.568||0.209|
|7||9||Attila TASSI||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||2:06.644||0.285|
|8||68||Yann EHRLACHER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||14||2:06.755||0.396|
|9||55||MA Qing Hua||Cyan Performance Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||15||2:06.789||0.430|
|10||16||Gilles MAGNUS||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||16||2:06.834||0.475|
|11||100||Yvan MULLER||Cyan Racing Lynk & Co||Lynk & Co 03 TCR||15||2:06.854||0.495|
|12||99||Dániel NAGY||Zengő Motorsport Services Kft||CUPRA Leon Competición TCR||18||2:06.874||0.515|
|13||33||Tom CORONEL||Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||18||2:06.911||0.552|
|14||86||Esteban GUERRIERI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||15||2:07.579||1.220|
|15||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Liqui Moly Team Engstler||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||16||2:07.605||1.246|
|16||25||Mehdi BENNANI||Comtoyou Team Audi Sport||Audi RS3 LMS TCR 2021||18||2:07.825||1.466|
|17||29||Néstor GIROLAMI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Honda Civic Type-R FK7 TCR||14||2:07.860||1.501|