FARFUS SETS THE STANDARD Augusto Farfus made a great start to his weekend in Japan as he set the fastest lap in testing this afternoon. The drivers came out on to the track and drove rather tentatively for the first half of the session. Most...
FARFUS SETS THE STANDARD
Augusto Farfus made a great start to his weekend in Japan as he set the fastest lap in testing this afternoon. The drivers came out on to the track and drove rather tentatively for the first half of the session. Most of them had not driven on this track before and so as they became accustomed to the circuit the times began to tumble. Farfus set an early fastest time of 1:39.371, ahead of his fellow BMW drivers, but SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller managed to beat it by nearly two-thirds of a second.
His 1:38.686 remained the best lap for much of the session, until Andy Priaulx improved it to 1:38.503. Seconds later Farfus took back the top spot with a lap exactly one second quicker than his previous one, at 1:38.371.
In the end Gabriele Tarquini managed to emerge as the highest placed SEAT Sport driver in third position; he is trying to fight for the Championship with team mate Muller who eventually was classified fifth, having been unable to improve his time further.
Rickard Rydell, lying fourth in the Championship behind Robert Huff, took fourth position in another SEAT car, while Alain Menu was the highest placed Chevrolet driver in sixth position, with N-technology Honda's James Thompson in seventh. Jorg Muller, Robert Huff and Tiago Monteiro rounded off the top ten.
Sergio Hernandez laid down the gauntlet to his team mate and Independents' Trophy rival Stefano D'Aste by setting the fastest lap. He was timed fourteenth overall, with D'Aste only two places and three tenths behind him.
Generally the drivers took the session extremely carefully, with only three cars having incidents, but none of them caused damage to their vehicles. Early in the session Chevrolet's Manabu Orido came off the track into the gravel trap; new-comer Matthew Marsh spun and rejoined the track; finally Ibrahim Okyay spun a full 360 in the centre of the track and continued to complete his lap.
WTCC competitors will hit the track again tomorrow for two practice sessions - at 9.30 and 12.00 - and the qualifying at 16.00 (local time is CET +7).