PRACTICE 1 BMW ITALY-SPAIN MAKE 1-2
BMW Team Italy-Spain reigned in the first free practice session at Istanbul. In fact, the last few minutes turned into a battle between team-mates Duncan Huisman and Alex Zanardi. Huisman set a time of 2:06.717 on his penultimate lap which was the best of the field until Zanardi went 0.093 of a second faster on his last lap. The third best time of the session was set by Rickard Rydell in his SEAT Sport León.
Nicola Larini was the 8th fastest overall for Chevrolet. Team-mate Rob Huff was 14th while the third Chevrolet man, Alain Menu, didn't take part in the session. This was due to a new engine suffering an oil leak and therefore needing to be replaced. Behind Larini, with the 9th quickest time of 2:078.046 was Farfus at the wheel of his N.technology Alfa Romeo.
The best of the independent drivers was Proteam Motorsport's Stefano D'Aste whose lap of 2:07.877 was an excellent 7th overall.
Peter Terting only managed to complete two laps in his SEAT León because of an engine problem.
PRACTICE 2 ZANARDI AND HUISMAN ENCORE
In a re-creation of the first free practice session, Alessandro Zanardi and Duncan Huisman placed their names at the top of the timesheet in the second practice. Zanardi was the quickest of the two with a time of 2:06.415, while Huisman was 0.740 of second slower.
SEAT Sport man Yvan Muller set the 3rd fastest time with a lap completed in 2:07.229. In the position behind him was Nicola Larini of Chevrolet. Despite an engine change, his team-mate Alain Menu was only able to complete two laps as a result of another leak. Chevrolet's third man Rob Huff lost control of the rear of his car coming into turn 3 early in the session but re-joined.
Peter Terting, who suffered difficulties in the morning practice received a engine change which seemed to have resolved the problems as he was 8th best in the second session.
This time it was Salvatore Tavano who set the best time of the N.technology Alfa Romeo team. He completed a lap in 2:07.727 which was the 12th quickest overall.
Tom Coronel of GR Asia was 5th overall and the best independent competitor with a time of 2:07.332. His team-mate, Maurizio Ceresoli was the 2nd fastest independent and an impressive 10th on the timesheet.
QUALIFYING RYDELL ON POLE FOR SEAT
Qualifying was a session of two halves. The track was dry for 15 minutes until rain fell and wet conditions ensued. All of the drivers posted their best times in the dry with the top 14 within one second.
Rickard Rydell claimed his third pole position of the season for SEAT Sport after clocking a time of 2:06.289 in his first flying lap. Rydell had topped the qualifying already in Brands Hatch and Puebla; and this is the fifth pole for SEAT so far in the season.
Alessandro Zanardi, who came out top in both free practice sessions, will line up on the front row alongside the Swede after posting a time of 2:06.427, onloi 0.138 seconds slower.
Rydell's team-mates Gabriele Tarquini (3rd) and Yvan Muller (4th) will fill the second row of the grid for tomorrow's race one. Duncan Huisman rounded up the BMW - SEAT top five.
Nicola Larini continued to be the quickest of the Chevrolet trio and his time of 2:06.871 was good enough to place him 6th on the grid. Farfus was 0.623 of a second off the pace and will line up 7th tomorrow at the wheel of his Alfa Romeo 156. His car loaded with 80 kilos of handicap weight, current championship leader Andy Priaulx qualified only 15th.
The best time of the independent drivers was set by Luca Rangoni of Proteam Motorsport which was 16th fastest overall. His competitors Tom Coronel and Stefano D'Aste qualified 17th and 18th respectively.
Peter Terting's lap in 2:07.061 was 9th quickest but the young German will begin from 19th as a result of the mandatory 10 place penalty issued for an engine change.