Valencia: Practice and qualifying notes

PRACTICE 1 LUCA RANGONI IS FASTEST In the opening practice session independent driver, Luca Rangoni of Proteam Motorsport was the man to set the quickest time. He and his BMW 320si did a lap of the Valencia track in 1:44.443 which was 0.183 of a...

PRACTICE 1 LUCA RANGONI IS FASTEST

In the opening practice session independent driver, Luca Rangoni of Proteam Motorsport was the man to set the quickest time. He and his BMW 320si did a lap of the Valencia track in 1:44.443 which was 0.183 of a second better than Peter Terting of SEAT Sport. The second and third best times were separated by a mere 0.006 of a second, Augusto Farfus slotting in third at the wheel of his N.technology Alfa Romeo 156.

Positions 4 to 8 were occupied by SEAT León cars. Yvan Muller was followed by Jordi Gené, James Thompson, Gabriele Tarquini and finally Tom Coronel of GR Asia. Coronel's team-mate Maurizio Ceresoli span off the track after two laps but after being towed from his dangerous position he re-joined the session.

Robert Huff set a time of 1:45.055 placing himself 9th on the time-sheet for Chervolet. Dirk Müller was in the position below, completing the top ten as the best of the BMW works drivers.

The majority of the best laps were set within the first 10 minutes of the session while the top 16 times are separated by just one second.

PRACTICE 2 JORDI GENÉ WARMS UP

Race 1 winner from last year and local hero, Jordi Gené, looks to be warming up for an attempt at a repeat performance as he topped the timesheet for free practice 2. He set the best time of 1:45.299 in the opening stages of the session and nobody was able to top it.

Tom Coronel posted a time 0.041 slower than Gené's for 2nd position overall and the best independent in his SEAT León.

On his penultimate lap Rob Huff sneaked into the top three behind the wheel of his Chevrolet Lacetti. His time of 1:45.800 knocked SEAT Sport's new driver, Oscar Nogués to 4th. The young Spaniard posted an impressive 1:45.911 which was the second best of the SEAT works drivers.

BMW man Dirk Müller set the 5th quickest time followed by independent BMW driver Luca Rangoni.

Rickard Rydell managed only two laps before going out at turn 12. He was unable to re-join the session.

QUALIFYING FARFUS PIPS GENÉ

Augusto Farfus will line up on pole position for tomorrow's Race 1. He posted a time of 1:44.534 in the dying seconds of the qualifying session to demote local hero Jordi Gené down to second. Gené who had set pole position last year was the name at the top of the timesheet for the majority of the session with a lap in 1:44.808, which he even improved to 1:44.662 with eight minutes remaining before Farfus' last minute break-through. This was Farfus' second pole of the season after Curitiba.

The second row will comprise of Salvatore Tavano's Alfa Romeo and Alain Menu's Chevrolet. They both posted their best times (1:44.825 and 1:44.863 respectively, with only a 0.011 seconds gap) towards the end of the session, Menu peaking with two minutes remaining on the clock. Fellow Chevrolet man Nicola Larini set a solid time of 1:44.971 which equated to 6th on the grid.

SEAT team-mates James Thompson and Peter Terting are set to line up alongside each other in 7th and 8th position. Behind them is a quartet of BMW cars: Jörg Müller followed by Proteam's Luca Rangoni and then the BMW Team Italy-Spain pair Alessandro Zanardi and Duncan Huisman.

Tom Coronel qualified an outstanding 5th overall and ahead of the rest of the independent drivers. His closest rival for the Independent trophy is Stefano D'Aste who qualified 19th.

Vincent Radermecker, who is also competing in the independent category, did not take part in the session because of engine problems with his Maurer Motorsport Chevrolet Lacetti.

SEAT Sport's newcomer Oscar Nogués qualified 18th only 8 tenths off the pole. The session was extremely close, even for WTCC standards, with a grand total of 22 drivers qualifying within 0.990 seconds.

STOP PRESS RYDELL DROPPED

After the end of the session the Stewards disallowed Rickard Rydell's fastest lap (1:45.333) because the Swedish driver improved whilst the yellow flags were deployed. Therefore Rydell's second best lap of 1:45.480 means he drops from 16th to 20th.

-credit: fia-wtcc

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , James Thompson , Augusto Farfus , Peter Terting , Duncan Huisman , Rob Huff , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Luca Rangoni , Salvatore Tavano , Nicola Larini , Maurizio Ceresoli , Vincent Radermecker