Local hero Ma Qing Hua set the fastest time in the first free practice session at Shangai International circuit in the tenth round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship.
The Chinese driver was one of the busiest on track to beat Tiago Monteiro in the first assault of the day. Bright and sunny conditions greeted the drivers in a fairly trouble-free session.
Hua took his Citroen C-Elysee WTCC to the top of the timing sheets, clocking a best lap of 1m51.706s, although, it was still slower than yesterday’s best lap.
Monteiro was second in his Honda Civic WTCC, 0.131s off the pace, and just ahead of reigning champion Jose Maria Lopez, 0.336s seconds behind team-mate Hua. Gabriele Tarquini was fourth, 0.484s off the pace.
Fifth and top Yokohama driver was Mehdi Bennani in the C-Elysee from Sebastien Loeb Racing, 0.633s behind Hua. Tom Chilton was the best Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 in sixth place for ROAL Motorsport, followed by Norbert Michelisz, the leader in the Yokohama Trophy Drivers’ table.
Rob Huff was the top Lada Vesta WTCC in eighth position, albeit 0.923s off the pace, followed by Citroen’s Yvan Muller. Nicky Catsburg completed the top ten for Lada.
Second free practice kicks off at 11:10 CST.
Tamara Aller / TouringCarTimes