Moscow WTCC: Catsburg puts Lada on top in first practice

Nicky Catsburg was fastest in Saturday morning’s first practice session at Lada's home race at the Moscow Raceway.

Moscow WTCC: Catsburg puts Lada on top in first practice
Yvan Muller, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Hugo Valente, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
James Thompson, All-Inkl Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Mehdi Bennani, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing, Volvo S60 Polestar TC1
Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC

The Dutch driver deprived Honda of another top three lock-out at the last minute, with the Japanese marque having to settle for second through fourth, while Citroen struggled in the 30-minute session, with all cars missing the top ten.

Catsburg produced his best time of 1m38.549s with just a minute to go, dropping Norbert Michelisz down to second, with a time almost four-tenths of a second faster than the Honda driver.

Honda continue to show good pace after taking the top three spots in yesterday's test session, despite running their original flat floor following yesterday’s FIA appeal court ruling.

Rob Huff was just 0.075 seconds behind team-mate Michelisz in third, with Tiago Monteiro fourth, 0.042 further behind.

Polestar Cyan Racing put on a strong performance with Thed Bjork fifth fastest in the Volvo S60 ahead of Lada drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Hugo Valente, with John Filippi the best-placed of the independent drivers in eighth in his Campos Racing-run Chevrolet Cruze.

All five Citroen C-Elysee WTCCs were well off the pace in the session, with Yvan Muller the fastest for the French manufacturer, which are all still carrying the maximum compensation weight of 80kg.

Muller was 12th, 1.4 seconds from Catsburg's time, with the privateer Citroen of Mehdi Bennani 14th, and championship leader Jose Maria Lopez down in 15th with the remaining privateer Citroens filling out the final positions down to 17th.

FP1 results:

PosDriverCarTime/GapLaps
1 NetherlandsNicky Catsburg  Lada 1:38.549 12
2 HungaryNorbert Michelisz  Honda +0.389 13
3 United KingdomRob Huff  Honda +0.464 13
4 PortugalTiago Monteiro  Honda +0.506 13
5 SwedenThed Björk  Volvo +0.558 13
6 ItalyGabriele Tarquini  Lada +0.628 12
7 FranceHugo Valente  Lada +0.862 13
8 FranceJohn Filippi  Chevrolet +0.867 12
9 SwedenFredrik Ekblom  Volvo +1.008 12
10 NetherlandsTom Coronel  Chevrolet +1.160 13
11 HungaryFerenc Ficza  Honda +1.228 14
12 FranceYvan Muller  Citroen +1.407 14
13 United KingdomJames Thompson  Chevrolet +1.490 14
14 MoroccoMehdi Bennani  Citroen +1.553 14
15 ArgentinaJose Maria Lopez  Citroen +1.733 14
16 United KingdomTom Chilton  Citroen +1.937 12
17 FranceGrégoire Demoustier  Citroen +2.376 13

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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