FIA WTCC | Tarquini leads Honda 1-2 in opening practice


Tiago Monteiro was second overall

Gabriele Tarquini led a 1-2 for his Castrol Honda WTC team in the first free practice for this weekend’s FIA WTCC Guia Race of Macau.
Fresh from his maiden victory of the season at Suzuka last month, Tarquini finished opening practice with a best lap of two minutes 27.216 seconds. But despite the promising start, and the fact that his team-mate Tiago Monteiro moved up to second overall in the final minute, Tarquini was not getting too carried away with the form.
“I am happy with how it has started, but we must remember that this is only Thursday practice,” said the Italian. “Let’s see how tomorrow [today] goes when things are more important.”
Behind Tarquini and Monteiro, WTCC champion Jose Maria Lopez was third fastest in his Citroen – having briefly been at the top of the standings halfway through the session.
Norbert Michelisz, who had been fastest in the morning’s testing session that kick started the day’s action, ended up fourth fastest.
Pepe Oriola was the fastest Chevrolet runner in fifth spot, ahead of Citroen’s Sebastien Loeb and Lada’s Rob Huff.
Outgoing world champion Yvan Muller, who ended up ninth fastest behind Mehdi Bennani, had a few wild moments in his Citroen under braking for Lisboa.
The session was red-
flagged after just seven minutes when Hugo Valente crashed his Chevrolet before Faraway – smashing in to the barriers on the right-hand side of the track before his car came to a rest on the left.

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