Puebla: Series Friday test notes

YVAN MULLER BEATS PRIAULX IN TEST SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller posted the fastest lap in today's test session, beating BMW drivers Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus by a narrow margin. A cloudy sky and a fresh breeze from the East made the track very...

YVAN MULLER BEATS PRIAULX IN TEST

SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller posted the fastest lap in today's test session, beating BMW drivers Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus by a narrow margin. A cloudy sky and a fresh breeze from the East made the track very fast and enabled a number of drivers to break the track record of 1:40.808 set by Jordi Gene in last year's qualifying.

Farfus was the first driver to clock a provisional fastest lap of 1:41.207, but he was immediately ousted by Priaulx who set a 1:40.307 that remained on top for the next ten minutes. Halfway through the session Rickard Rydell and Gabriele Tarquini began a personal fight to improve the fastest lap.

The Swede clocked a 1:40.211 and the Italian responded with a 1:40.170; then Rydell improved further to 1:40.015 and Tarquini managed to break the 1:40 wall with a lap of 1:39.670 with only thee minutes to go.

However, in the dying seconds, Muller was timed at 1:39.020, demoting his team-mate to second; then Tarquini was pushed further down to fifth when Priaulx (1:39.233), Farfus (1:39.289) and Rydell (1:39.363) crossed the line setting the second, third and fourth fastest laps respectively. Felix Porteiro emerged as the fastest of the Independents' with a time of 1:39.770 (sixth overall).

The three Chevrolet men were timed 12th (Larini), 13th (Huff) and 14th (Menu) fastest respectively, 1.5 seconds off the pace, while Viktor Shapovalov set the 21st fastest lap, the best of the LADA cars.

WTCC DRIVERS GO TO UNIVERSITY

The FIA WTCC drivers took part on Thursday afternoon in a promotional event that officially launched the championship's second race meeting to be held this weekend in Puebla, Mexico.

Onboard pick-up trucks, the drivers paraded through the city's main streets - including the elegant Avenida Juarez.

After the parade they got to the campus of the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, where BMW, Chevrolet, LADA and SEAT racing cars were exhibited, to meet students and fans for an autograph session that attracted a large crowd.

EXAGON COME BACK WITH MOROCCAN DRIVER

25-year old Mehdi Bennani will join the FIA WTCC for his home event in Marrakech, becoming the first North African driver to race in an FIA world championship.

The young Moroccan driver will be at the wheel of a petrol-powered SEAT Leon run by Luc Marchetti's Exagon Engineering that was a regular WTCC competitor in 2007 and 2008.

Bennani, who has progressed in his racing career from the karting to the Formula Renault, the Formula BMW, the World Series by Renault and finally the Euro F3000 Series, will be backed in his WTCC debut by OMNT, Morocco's Tourism Office.

The Exagon Engineering team will give Bennani the opportunity to test the car in Magny-Cours before the race meeting in Marrakech.

COUNTDOWN: - 2 DAYS to the 2009 FIA WTCC HSBC Race of Mexico - 21st / 22nd March, in Puebla-Amozoc

-credit: wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Mehdi Bennani