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Hungary WTCC: Tarquini breaks lap record on resurfaced track in FP1

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Hungary WTCC: Tarquini breaks lap record on resurfaced track in FP1
Apr 23, 2016, 8:48 AM

Lada Sport’s Gabriele Tarquini topped the time sheets in Saturday’s first free practice session at the Hungaroring, the only driver in the 1m47s, smashing Yvan Muller’s pole position record of 1m48.727s from last year.

Gabriele Tarquini, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
Fredrik Ekblom, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Fredrik Ekblom, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Gabriele Tarquini, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Grégoire Demoustier, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
The car of Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Fredrik Ekblom, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1

The top position honours changed hands a number of times throughout the 30-minute session, but was never once held by a Citroen, who are much fancied following the compensation weight increases for Lada and Honda heading into this weekend.

Nicky Catsburg set the first benchmark in his Lada Vesta WTCC, before he was toppled by ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel in his Chevrolet Cruze.

The Hondas and Ladas traded fastest times throughout the mid-part of the session, with Tiago Monteiro (Honda), Catsburg (Lada) and then Norbert Michelisz (Honda) moving to the fore.

Tarquini’s best lap came in the last ten minutes of the session, with the Italian lapping the 4.4km circuit with a time of 1m47.929s.

This, despite being one of five drivers to receive a black & white flag by the stewards for exceeding track limits, along with Honda drivers Rob Huff and Monteiro, Lada teammate Catsburg and ROAL's Coronel.

A number of laps were also deleted after drivers were judged to have taken shortcut at Turn 4.

Tarquini ended up on top in his Vesta, carrying 50kg of compensation weight this weekend, ahead of the unballasted Volvo S60 of Fredrik Ekblom, by just over a tenth of a second.

Home hero Michelisz was third fastest in his Honda, just ahead of current points leader and teammate Monteiro, with Lada’s Catsburg completing the top five.

The best placed Citroen was that of Muller in sixth, with reigning champion teammate Jose Maria Lopez ninth fastest.

Coronel was the best-placed of the privateer drivers in eighth, also the quickest of the Chevrolets, while the Campos Racing-run Chevrolet of John Filippi had limited running in the session, stopping with an apparent engine issue after just four laps.

FP1 results:

PosDriverCarTime/GapLaps
1 ItalyGabriele Tarquini  Lada 1:47.929 12
2 SwedenFredrik Ekblom  Volvo +0.108 13
3 HungaryNorbert Michelisz  Honda +0.253 10
4 PortugalTiago Monteiro  Honda +0.309 12
5 NetherlandsNicky Catsburg  Lada +0.507 13
6 FranceYvan Muller  Citroen +0.648 9
7 United KingdomRob Huff  Honda +0.765 11
8 NetherlandsTom Coronel  Chevrolet +0.805 11
9 ArgentinaJose Maria Lopez  Citroen +0.846 15
10 SwedenThed Björk  Volvo +0.904 11
11 MoroccoMehdi Bennani  Citroen +0.908 12
12 United KingdomTom Chilton  Citroen +1.011 11
13 FranceHugo Valente  Lada +1.299 12
14 GermanyRené Münnich  Chevrolet +1.655 13
15 FranceGrégoire Demoustier  Citroen +2.395 11
16 HungaryFerenc Ficza  Honda +2.858 12
17 FranceJohn Filippi  Chevrolet   4

Neil Hudson/TouringCarTimes

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Hungary WTCC: Bjork beats Tarquini in final practice

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