Yvan Muller’s RML Chevrolet Cruze set the fastest lap in today’s test
The freshly crowned WTCC champion posted a time of 1:55.643 with only a handful of minutes left on the clock.Soon afterwards, James Thompson’s LADA hit a pile of tyres at Turn 4b and pushed it in the middle of the track, which forced the race director to wave the red flag twenty seconds before the end. This spoiled Rob Huff’s last attempt that looked good enough for second place.
The 2012 champion and his SEAT car seemed very much at ease on the Shanghai track and topped the session in the early stages, improving the fastest lap several times down to 1:57.327. Halfway through the test Muller made his first appearance on top with a lap of 1:56.827; however he was soon demoted to third by Alex MacDowall’s 1:56.476 and Tiago Monteiro’s 1:56.538, before eventually regaining the first position.
Tom Coronel posted the second fastest lap of 1:55.836, with Tom Chilton in third (1:56.051) and Pepe Oriola in fourth (1:56.156). Thompson placed fifth with a lap of 1:56.269, ahead of MacDowall, Gabriele Tarquini, Monteiro, James Nash and Darryl O’Young.
Rickard Rydell ranked 11th, with Marc Basseng the best of the SEAT drivers in 12th and the Volvo of Thed Björk in 15th.
Mehdi Bennani did not post any time, as he was stuck in the garage while the Proteam crew was investigating on a supercharging problem.
Saturday will see the WTCC field take to the track for two thirty-minute Free Practice sessions, before the two-stage Qualifying begins at 14.10 local time (7.30 CET).