SJM Guia Race - Practice Weather: Clear and Sunny Andy Priaulx leads the way in first practice Newly crowned European Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx led the way during first practice for this weekend's SJM Guia race as he dominated the ...
SJM Guia Race - Practice
Weather: Clear and Sunny
Andy Priaulx leads the way in first practice
Newly crowned European Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx led the way during first practice for this weekend's SJM Guia race as he dominated the morning session to outpace his BMW Team Germany team-mate Dirk Muller by 0.868 seconds.
Despite a red flag halfway through the session, Priaulx's practice proved completely troublefree and left him feeling confident for the afternoon's first qualifying session.
"That was good," said Priaulx straight after the session. "I have not had time to look at the timesheets, but it is definitely a good start. I've got a lot of experience at this track and although Dirk has never been here before, I am expecting a strong challenge from him."
Muller has spent the last few days trying to learn the challenging Guia circuit on his computer and, after managing to stay away from the barriers during the first practice session, he admitted that he did not expect to set such a strong pace.
"I have had to get used to the track and it has been awesome," explained Muller. "There was a lot of traffic out there so it was difficult to get into a rhythm, but I must admit I am surprised to be second overall. It is like a roller-coaster ride out there!"
Although BMW heads into the weekend as favourites for victory, the SEAT Sport team remain upbeat about their chances of being able to fight for the win. Sweden's Rickard Rydell proved that such optimism was justified by setting the third quickest time, although he struggled to find a clear lap during the 30-minute session.
"That session was just traffic, traffic, traffic," he said, after pipping Jorg Muller. "I think I only got one or two fairly clear laps. My car was not too bad but we will make some small changes to the set-up before first qualifying."
Dutchman Duncan Huisman, who is chasing a fourth consecutive victory in the Guia race this weekend, was only ninth quickest but he was far from unhappy. "I took it easy and didn't want to take any risks," he said. "I needed to get used to the tyres and I will sort out my set-up before qualifying, but we are going in the right direction."