Magny-Cours: Practice and qualifying notes

Weather: cloudy with a cold wind and 5°C in the early morning; the weather improved later, with patches of blue sky and warmer temperatures; track was dry. PRACTICE 1: TERTING POSTS FASTEST LAP The fastest lap of the opening practice session...

Weather: cloudy with a cold wind and 5°C in the early morning; the weather improved later, with patches of blue sky and warmer temperatures; track was dry.

PRACTICE 1: TERTING POSTS FASTEST LAP

The fastest lap of the opening practice session at Magny-Cours was set by the young German, Peter Terting in his SEAT León. His time of 1:49.855 was 0.060 of a second better than Jörg Müller's quickest run for BMW Team Germany with the third best time being set by Terting's team-mate Rickard Rydell.

All six of the SEAT Sport drivers were in the top ten. Championship leader Yvan Muller, Gabriele Tarquini and James Thompson were 5th, 6th and 7th fastest respectively with Gené 9th. Dirk Müller posted a time of 1:50.169 placing him 4th on the time sheet while Andy Priaulx was further down in 8th. The top ten was completed by a Chevrolet, driven by Rob Huff with a time of 1:51.053. Alfa Romeo struggled with the pace as Gianni Morbidelli, the quickest of the N.technology team of three, achieved only the 16th best time overall.

Tom Coronel set the fastest time of the independent field, a 1:51.083 in his GR Asia SEAT Toledo Cupra; he was classified 11th fastest overall.

Alessandro Zanardi had a broken wire in his driving aid system and therefore had to stop the session with 5 minutes remaining.

PRACTICE 2: JÖRG MÜLLER TOPS TIMES

He was second fastest this morning but in the second practice session Jörg Müller, winner of both WTCC races here in Magny-Cours last year, completed the fastest lap in his BMW Team Germany 320si with a time of 1:50.190.

Tom Coronel of independent team GR Asia put in a storming lap of 1:50.360 which was the second fastest of the entire field. Again, SEAT Sport's Rickard Rydell occupied third spot, 0.265 seconds off the pace. Behind him in 4th, 5th and 6th was a trio of his team companions, Gabriele Tarquini, Yvan Muller and James Thompson with only Dirk Müller in his BMW separating them from Peter Terting who was 8th quickest. Alessandro Zanardi's electrical problem had been solved and he posted a time of 1:51.293, placing him 10th one position below Andy Priaulx.

Nicola Larini of Chevrolet drove his Lacetti around the track in the 12th quickest time of 1:51.720. The N.technology Alfas still appear to have some work to do as Augusto Farfus posted the teams best time which was 18th overall.

TARQUINI AND SEAT ON POLE POSITION

SEAT Sport have secured the whole front row for tomorrow's Race 1. Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest man after setting a 1:49.306 which is a new S2000 lap record for the French track. Alongside him when the lights go out will be team- mate Rickard Rydell who stole second position from BMW Team Germany's Jörg Müller on his very last lap and by the tiny margin of just 0.001 seconds.

Jörg, who set the previous lap record in 2004 not only has SEATs in front of him, but alongside and behind. Jordi Gené set a time of 1:49.798 placing in 4th on the grid while Peter Terting will line up 5th.

Dirk Müller of BMW Team Germany and Alessandro Zanardi of BMW Team Italy- Spain qualified 6th and 7th respectively while reigning champion Priaulx will begin Race 1 from position nine.

Continuing his presence among the works drivers was GR Asia man Tom Coronel. His time of 1:50.053 was the fastest of the independents and 8th best of the entire field. Drivers' championship leader, Yvan Muller completed the 12th quickest lap in his SEAT León.

The N.technology team were headed by Salvatore Tavano who achieved a lap in 1:50.795 placing him 19th. Farfus and Morbidelli occupy 22nd and 23rd respectively, the former spinning into the gravel trap at the Grande Courbe in the final minutes of the session.

Naspetti of GDL Racing (provisionally qualified 17th) and Marchetti of DB Motorsport (provisionally qualified 27th) will be dropped 10 places on the grid due to engine changes.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Rob Huff , Rickard Rydell , Gianni Morbidelli , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Salvatore Tavano , Nicola Larini