Morocco WTCC: Huff leads the way in testing on new layout
Rob Huff led an entertaining testing session for Honda, with Jose Maria Lopez two tenths slower than the Brit for Citroen.
Behind the top two, Norbert Michelisz, finished one hundredth shy of the championship leader Lopez in the Honda at Marrakech.
Early on in the session the Citroens set the pace with Lopez ahead of teammate Yvan Muller and Independents’ Trophy leader Mehdi Bennani.
It was not long before the Honda drivers improved on their lap times, though, with Huff leading ten minutes into the session as Muller made a small mistake at Turn 1, going wide and briefly off the track into the tarmac run-off area.
The short nature of the circuit made for an entertaining series of lead changes, with Lopez retaking the lead four times until Huff finally set the pace with four minutes to go, claiming it from Michelisz, who was a consistent presence in the top three through the session.
Just as the chequered flag was about to come out Lopez made a final attempt after a long 8-minutes stop, resulting in the Argentinian to jump to second, just a blink of an eye quicker than Michelisz.
Tiago Monteiro finished fourth, the Portuguese driver had also led the session briefly in the early stages, with Muller in the top five in his Citroen.
Gabriele Tarquini was the best-placed Lada driver in sixth, ahead of teammate Nicky Catsburg.
Local hero Bennani was the best Independents’ Trophy driver in the session, as James Thompson surprised the field to ninth in his Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet.
Hugo Valente completed the top ten for Lada. The Volvos seemed to struggle on the twisty Marrakech layout, with Thed Bjork down in 13th, ahead of teammate Fredrik Ekblom.
|2||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||0.216||13|
Lopez, Muller concerned with slower Marrakech layout
Morocco WTCC: Monteiro beats Michelisz by 0.003s in first practice