Macau: Test day notes

ANDY PRIAULX POSTS FASTEST TIME The final event of the FIA WTCC season has begun as the field completed a 30 minute testing session. For many drivers it was their first outing on the streets of Macau but the experience of Andy Priaulx, Jörg ...

ANDY PRIAULX POSTS FASTEST TIME

The final event of the FIA WTCC season has begun as the field completed a 30 minute testing session. For many drivers it was their first outing on the streets of Macau but the experience of Andy Priaulx, Jörg Müller and Tom Coronel showed as they posted the best times.

Jörg and Priaulx were constantly switching positions as the fastest driver in their BMW cars. Jorg's best time was 2:35.368 but Priaulx went 0.876 of a second faster on his last lap to take top spot at 2:34.492. Coronel was among the quickest drivers for the entire session in his GR Asia SEAT. His time of 2:35.529 was third fastest overall and by far the best in the Independents' category. Local driver, André Couto completed the fourth fastest time for Alfa Romeo. With five minutes remaining, fellow Alfa man, Fabrizio Giovanardi set a lap in 2:36.491 but then crashed at the Dona Maria bend. His time however, was sixth fastest overall.

Jordi Gené headed the SEAT Sport drivers with the fifth best time while Rickard Rydell was 8th overall. Chevrolet were represented in the top ten with Nicola Larini's time of 2:36.491 placing him 7th. Michael Funke achieved the 14th quickest lap in his Hotfiel Sport Ford Focus.

The quickest of the Asian Touring Car Championship drivers was Engstler Motorsport's Peter Scharmach who was 19th overall; his team-mate Paul Poon was the only one of the 31 drivers not to take part in the test, due to electronic problems.

DRIVERS' QUOTES

Andy PRIAULX, BMW Team UK fastest
"I have been waiting for this moment for six weeks and that performance was all the emotions and aggressions coming out in the first session. I'm very happy with the balance of the car. Despite being to Macau four times, this is the first time I have been here with my own car and it feels great. The team and I have worked very closely together over the last six weeks and this is a lovely way to start."

Tom CORONEL, GR Asia 3rd fastest
"I like Macau and am always fast here but somehow I have never been on the podium. I know the track well and I know I have the speed but it is a matter of having luck as well not only in the casino but also in the streets. The car feels good, I don't have any troubles. To be honest I didn't expect to be so fast but then I saw my position and I was pleased."

Fabrizio GIOVANARDI, Alfa Romeo Racing 6th fastest
"A wall just jumped out at me... To avoid a collision with another car I had to choose the wall. Luckily I managed to slow down before crashing, so the car is not badly damaged. It's a shame, because on the lap I crashed I was half a second faster than my previous lap. The car is good and I have immediately found the right feeling with the track."

Nicola LARINI, Chevrolet 7th fastest
"It's not bad, even if I expected to be a couple of places ahead. I had little time to work on the car, because it was not easy to find a clear lap. But I'm reasonably satisfied and I believe we still have a good margin for improvement."

Dirk MÜLLER, BMW Team Deutschland 9th fastest
"At the moment things are as I expected. Andy and Jörg are quick because they have lots of experience here. Today is about finding a nice rhythm so I didn't push too much. I just wanted to do lots of laps and confidence for qualifying tomorrow."

-fia-

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