Weather: cloudy and windy, with a dry track. Today's programme was delayed due to repairs to the track surface being undertaken; therefore the Stewards decided to hold only one practice session and postpone qualifying by one hour and a ...
Weather: cloudy and windy, with a dry track.
Today's programme was delayed due to repairs to the track surface being undertaken; therefore the Stewards decided to hold only one practice session and postpone qualifying by one hour and a half.
PRACTICE YVAN MULLER ON TOP
When the cars hit the track it was Yvan Muller who set the best time of 1:45.670 with 12 minutes remaining. Rickard Rydell was 0.157 of a second behind as second fastest while the third quickest lap was completed by Pierre-Yves Corthals. The brilliant lap of 1:46.037 was set by the Belgian at the wheel of his JAS Motorsport Honda Accord Euro R and placed him top of the Independents.
The three N.technology drivers formed a trio on the timesheet. Salvatore Tavano headed them 4th overall followed by Augusto Farfus and then Gianni Morbidelli. Race winner from last year, Peter Terting posted the 7th best time and team- mate Thompson set a 1:46.521 to place himself 9th. The pair were separated by Tom Coronel who's best lap was his last one.
Alessandro Zanardi completed the top ten in his BMW Team Italy-Spain 320si, he headed the BMW drivers who appear to be struggling to find the pace. From the Chevrolet camp it was Nicola Larini who achieved the best lap, 12th overall. His team-mate Robert Huff had to stop on the grass after 7 laps due to a technical problem.
Red flags were issued with 4 minutes remaining after Duncan Huisman spun at turn 8. The disruption was minimal however as the car was re-started and the session resumed quickly after it had returned to the pits. Information on Sunday's timetable will be communicated as soon as possible.
QUALIFYING SECOND POLE FOR RYDELL
The man at the front of the grid tomorrow will be Rickard Rydell after posting the best lap (1:41.259) of the qualifying session with three minutes left on the clock. This is the second pole of the year for the Swede after that in Brands Hatch.
His SEAT Leon will be joined on the front row by the Alfa Romeo of Salvatore Tavano who set a time just 0.050 of a second slower than Rydell's in the closing seconds. Ryan Sharp unexpectedly occupied provisional pole for three minutes but his time of 1:41.381 was bettered by both Rydell and Tavano leaving the JAS Motorsport independent driver to line up 3rd. Directly behind him will be independent trophy rival Tom Coronel who qualified 5th, one position behind Augusto Farfus.
Four SEAT Sport drivers occupied 6th through to 9th place. Yvan Muller leads them followed by Thompson, Tarquini and Gene. However, due to an engine change, Tarquini will be demoted 10 places on the grid, therefore lining up 18th. Tarquini's demotion means BMW drivers Andy Priaulx and Alessandro Zanardi will line up 9th and 10th tomorrow.
Huff set the best qualifying time from the Chevrolet team but he suffers the same fate as Tarquini after also changing his engine. Despite qualifying 16th he will line up at the back of the grid. Team-mates Menu and Larini will begin the race from 17th and 20th.
The ten fastest drivers in the session were covered by only 0.9 seconds.