ALAIN MENU REIGNS IN THE TEST The FIA WTCC European season officially started this afternoon with a 30-minute test session in Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo. Alain Menu of Chevrolet topped the time sheet, completing a lap in 1:44.440 with...
ALAIN MENU REIGNS IN THE TEST
The FIA WTCC European season officially started this afternoon with a 30-minute test session in Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Alain Menu of Chevrolet topped the time sheet, completing a lap in 1:44.440 with only one minute left. The Swiss, who had already been the fastest in last month's official test on the Spanish track, ousted BMW's Augusto Farfus who had set a provisional fastest time of 1:44.610 only a few seconds earlier.
Lap times remained considerably slower compared to the April test, when Menu was clocked at 1:42.886.
Britons Robert Huff and Andy Priaulx posted the fourth and fifth fastest laps, with gaps of 0.154 and 0.265 seconds respectively. Chevrolet's third man Nicola Larini was classified sixth, just ahead of the fastest of the SEAT drivers, Gabriele Tarquini.
On their first appearance in the championship, James Thompson and his N.technology Honda Accord set the eighth fastest lap in the session, six tenths off Menu's time.
Local boy Sergio Hernandez emerged as the best of the Independents, with a lap of 1:45.860, good enough for the fifteenth position overall and only a couple of tenthts faster than Pierre-Yves Corthals' best effort.
Jaap van Lagen came fourth in the Independents' class and twentieth overall; with an impressive progression the Dutchman completed his first official test in the brand new LADA 110. However, his team-mate Viktor Shapovalov could not post a time as his car was finished just minutes before the start of the session and suffered from electric problems.
Three drivers have visited the gravel traps today: Ibrahim Okyay went off at turn 4 in the early stages, while SEAT's new boy Jose Manuel Perez-Aicart and Olivier Tielemans both ended the session prematurely off turn 1.
Competitors will hit the track again twice tomorrow morning at 8.30 and 11.30 for free practice; qualifying will follow at 15.00.