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Slovakia WTCC: Ekblom leads Volvo 1-2 in opening practice

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Slovakia WTCC: Ekblom leads Volvo 1-2 in opening practice
Apr 16, 2016, 7:36 AM

Fredrik Ekblom set the pace at Slovakiaring in the first free practice session ahead of his Volvo teammate Thed Bjork, with Lada’s Nicky Catsburg third in the Vesta TC1.

The session went incident-free, but lap times for Honda’s Norbert Michelisz and Lada’s Hugo Valente were disallowed, both for track limits infringements.

The Lada driver had actually jumped up to second before the stewards decided he had gone too wide at Turn 9.

As the chequered flag was waved, Catsburg stopped on track at Turn 9, after slotting in at third, triggering a yellow flag.

Just behind the top three was Gabriele Tarquini, who set the pace yesterday, confirming Lada’s strong form.

Michelisz finished fifth ahead of team-mates Rob Huff and Tiago Monteiro. Valente was eighth, with championship leader Jose Maria Lopez just behind him after a series of runs on used tyres in his Citroen.

Tom Coronel set the pace in the WTCC Trophy with tenth outright, followed closely by John Filippi, with Yvan Muller as low as 12th after working on old tyres, just like his team-mate.

WTCC returnee James Thompson massively improved on yesterday’s pace and finished behind Muller, now six tenths off Coronel’s pace.

Full FP1 results:

 Pos   Driver   Car Time/Gap 
 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo 2m05.420 
 Thed Bjork Volvo 0.313
 Nicky Catsburg Lada 0.343
 Gabriele Tarquini Lada 0.623
 Norbert Michelisz Honda 0.752
 Rob Huff Honda 0.937
 Tiago Monteiro Honda 1.183
 Hugo Valente Lada 1.330
 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 1.394
10   Tom Coronel Chevrolet 1.443
11   John Filippi Chevrolet 1.875
12   Yvan Muller Citroen 1.945
13   James Thompson Chevrolet 2.089
14   Tom Chilton Citroen 2.273
15   Ferenc Ficza Honda 2.503
16   Mehdi Bennani Citroen 2.595
17   Gregoire Demoustier Citroen 2.636

Pietro Casillo/TouringCarTimes

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Slovakia WTCC: Catsburg tops final practice ahead of Volvo duo

Slovakia WTCC: Catsburg tops final practice ahead of Volvo duo
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About this article

Series WTCC
Event Slovakia
Location Slovakia Ring
Drivers Nick Catsburg , Thed Björk , Fredrik Ekblom
Teams Lada Sport , Polestar Cyan Racing