Okayama: Series Friday notes

MULLER'S SEAT FASTEST IN TEST Yvan Muller topped the timesheet in testing at Okayama. The reigning champion's lap of 1:38.518 was 0.016 seconds faster than that of Augusto Farfus and 0.028 better than Tiago Monteiro's offering. Small ...

MULLER'S SEAT FASTEST IN TEST

Yvan Muller topped the timesheet in testing at Okayama. The reigning champion's lap of 1:38.518 was 0.016 seconds faster than that of Augusto Farfus and 0.028 better than Tiago Monteiro's offering. Small margins covered the entire field in a close session as the top 13 cars were within one second.

Andy Priaulx from Team BMW UK opened proceedings and improved his time on each of his first three flying laps. Despite holding the provisional fastest lap for the first ten minutes of the session, he was eventually placed seventh overall (1:38.835).

All five SEAT Sport cars were within the top seven following a surge in the final three minutes. Rickard Rydell (1:38.694) and Gabriele Tarquini (1:38.807) shot up the rankings to become fourth and fifth fastest while Gene set the sixth best time (1:38.817).

The top eight was rounded off by a 1:38.883 from Alain Menu of Chevrolet. James Thompson looked to be immediately on the pace in his LADA Priora after posting a time 0.980 slower than Yvan Muller's to place him 13th. Felix Porteiro was the leading Independent competitor (14th overall) followed by Stefano D'Aste (16th) and Japanese driver Nobuteru Taniguchi (18th).

MIMASAKA CITY WELCOMED WTCC

Official proceedings to the WTCC Race of Japan got underway yesterday when the Mayor of Mimasaka City and a delegation of the Okayama Prefecture, received the drivers and other WTCC representatives during a welcome dinner at the Junogou Grand Hotel.

After the speeches delivered by the Mayor, KSO general manager Marcello Lotti and Akinori Tokieda of Yokohama, the drivers were invited on the stage for a family picture.

Later the guests were helped to a Japanese buffet, while they were entertained by local artists who performed classical Japanese dances, a short drama about samurais and swords and a Japanese drums show. Eventually some of the WTCC guests enthusiastically had a try at fencing with the samurai swords and playing drums.

ALEX ZANARDI WINS THE VENICE MARATHON

Last Sunday Alessandro Zanardi put in another extraordinay performance, winning the "diversely able" category at the Venice Marathon. This was the first victory the BMW driver claimed since he started competing with handbikes.

"It was a great day for the 'cyclist' who is in me! I am extremely proud of this victory. First of all because, together with the friends of the Venice Marathon, we made good things for charities. And also because I set a new record for this race, covering the 42.196 km in 1h13:56. I actually reached the halfway point in less than 34 minutes, at the average speed of 39 kmh, which was quite an outstanding pace," Zanardi said.

COUNTDOWN: - 2 DAYS to the 2009 FIA WTCC Race of Japan - 31st October / 1st November, in Okayama

-credit: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tiago Monteiro , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Nobuteru Taniguchi , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Stefano D'Aste , Alain Menu