Van Lagen leads Lada 1-2 in wet Nurburgring practice

Lada’s Jaap van Lagen finished fastest in a wet first WTCC practice at the Nordschleife, just over a second clear of teammate Rob Huff, with Tom Chilton completing the top three.

Due to the foggy conditions, the session was delayed by 15 minutes, leading to the shortening of the session from the scheduled 60 minutes to 45.

Norbert Michelisz set the first benchmark in the Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic, before Jose Maria Lopez took over in the factory Citroen as the first driver under 11 minutes in the slippery conditions.

With 20 minutes to go, van Lagen then went fastest of all in the Lada Vesta as the conditions slowly improved. The Dutch driver set a time of 10m24.447, and was joined by teammate Huff in second position, before Tiago Monteiro briefly topped the time sheets in the Honda Civic.

Van Lagen then went faster still, with Huff also improving on his final run to make it a Lada 1-2 at the finish, with Tom Chilton setting the fastest time of the independent drivers with third overall.

With Lopez setting only one lap early in the session, the points leader finished down in 14th, three places behind Nurburgring expert Sabine Schmitz in her Chevrolet RML Cruze.

The conditions caught out a number of drivers but all managed to avoid major contact, with Citroen's Ma Qing Hua experiencing a few visits to the gravel trap, as well as Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Gregoire Demoustier and Munnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste.

Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Mehdi Bennani was the only one to make notable contact with the barrier, but the sturdy Citroen C-Elysee was still able to circulate the track with minimal damage.

Practice results:

Pos Driver  Car Time/Gap
1 Jaap van Lagen Lada 10m17.981
2 Rob Huff Lada 1.451
3 Tom Chilton Chevrolet 5.266
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda 5.642
5 Stefano D'Aste Chevrolet 6.622
6 Norbert Michelisz Honda 6.975
7 Tom Coronel Chevrolet 9.197
8 Sebastien Loeb Citroen 10.336
9 Gabriele Tarquini Honda 12.879
10 Yvan Muller Citroen 13.485
11 Sabine Schmitz Chevrolet 21.275
12 John Filippi Chevrolet 23.726
13 Gregoire Demoustier Chevrolet 25.526
14 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 28.001
15 Hugo Valente Chevrolet 38.910
16 Mehdi Bennani Citroen 45.595
17 Ma Qing Hua Citroen no time

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Nürburgring
Track Nürburgring
Drivers Tom Chilton , Rob Huff , Jaap van Lagen
Teams Lada Sport
Article type Practice report