Curitiba: Practice and qualifying notes

PRACTICE 1 GIOVANARDI IS FASTEST Giovanardi is back with a vengeance. The Italian topped the timesheet in the first free practice session with a lap of 1:24.983 in his JAS Motorsport Honda Accord. He was the only driver to set a time below 1 ...

PRACTICE 1 GIOVANARDI IS FASTEST

Giovanardi is back with a vengeance. The Italian topped the timesheet in the first free practice session with a lap of 1:24.983 in his JAS Motorsport Honda Accord. He was the only driver to set a time below 1 minute 25 seconds. The second best time of 1:25.024 was achieved by N.technology man Augusto Farfus while behind him was Peter Terting for SEAT Sport.

Alessandro Zanardi posted the best time of the BMW competitors which was the 6th quickest overall and 0.154 seconds off the top pace. In fact, the field was as close as yesterday with 19 drivers posting times within just nine tenths of a second.

It was Nicola Larini who completed the best lap for Chevrolet in 1:25.751. With three minutes of the session remaining however, he lost the car through over- steer at Entrada do Miolo and crashed into the tyre barrier; damaging the bodywork on the front of his car. The session was not resumed.

Tom Coronel continued his command of the Independent category by setting a lap of 1:25.442 at the wheel of GR Asia SEAT León which placed him 8th overall. As the drivers improve their knowledge of the Brazilian track the times were faster than yesterday's test despite the addition of tyres at certain corners to stop kerb cutting.

PRACTICE 2 FARFUS POSTS FASTEST LAP

Curitiba born, Augusto Farfus appeared to be getting accustomed to his home track after posting the fastest time of the second free practice session. His lap of 1:25.302 was 0.300 seconds better than Peter Terting's who was second fastest. Terting's team-mate, Jordi Gené was the third quickest of the field only 0.031 seconds behind, followed by another SEAT man, Gabriele Tarquini.

Just as in the first practice session, Alessandro Zanardi completed the best BMW lap. His time of 1:26.006 placed him 5th overall. In 6th place was Ryan Sharp of JAS Motorsport who put in a great lap of 1:26.044 to lead the Independents' category. Tom Coronel did not take part in the session as his GR Asia team were working on an engine change after oil pressure problems.

Robert Huff set the 13th best time in his Chevrolet Lacetti while Alain Menu and Nicola Larini whose car was repaired after the crash in the previous session were 16th and 19th respectively.

The session was ended 2.11 minutes prematurely after Brazilian Lucas Molo lost control of his car at Esse de Alta and crashed into the tyre wall. Red flags were issued and the session did not resume.

QUALIFYING - FARFUS GRABS POLE ON HOME TRACK

Brazilian fans will be treated to the sight of home-grown Augusto Farfus starting from pole position tomorrow after he topped today's qualifying.

His time of 1:24.761 was 0.142 of a second faster than the best attempt of Jordi Gené who will begin from second position. Peter Terting, who had provisional pole for the majority of session, will begin Race 1 from third position tomorrow, followed by a trio of his team-mates; Tarquini, Rydell and Thompson. The session had not even reached five minutes when red flags were issued after BMW Team Italy-Spain's driver, Alessandro Zanardi spun at Esse de Alta and became stranded in the gravel trap. The Italian was not permitted to rejoin the session having received external aid by the marshals.

Current championship leader Andy Priaulx qualified 7th overall with a lap time of 1:25.272 which was the best from a BMW. Yvan Muller, who currently shares the championship lead with Priaulx, will line up 17th.

From the Chevrolet team, it was Nicola Larini who completed the quickest lap which provisionally placed him 16th. However, the Italian will actually begin from 14th as both Tom Coronel (qualified 12th) and Luca Rangoni (qualified 15th) will be demoted 10 grid positions each due to engine changes.

With Coronel penalised, JAS Motorsport's Ryan Sharp will begin the race ahead of his Independent trophy rivals in 13th place.

The action was as close as ever with 18 drivers qualifying within one second. New comers Fabrizio Giovanardi and Duncan Huisman qualified in 9th and 11th respectively, while Brazilian youngster Lucas Molo posted the 25th time.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Duncan Huisman , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Luca Rangoni , Nicola Larini , Ryan Sharp , Lucas Molo , Alain Menu