Chevrolet’s Robert Huff set the fastest time in this morning’s thirty-minute Free Practice session. His lap time of 1:58.679 was just under quarter of a second quicker than the SEAT León of Gabriele Tarquini (1:58.920) with the two Chevrolet Cruze cars of Yvan Muller (1:59.228) and Alain Menu (1:59.229) separated by only one one-thousandth of a second.

With three Chevrolets in the top four places, predictions that the team would extend its record of thirteen consecutive pole positions look to be accurate. The only driver to threaten that record appears to be Tarquini, whose SEAT is equipped with the new 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine. The fact that only he and Huff broke the 1:59.000 mark underlines the Italian driver’s positive comments about the engine’s early potential.

Fastest of the Yokohama Trophy competitors and fifth overall was Norbert Michelisz in a BMW 320 TC (1:59.565) while Tiago Monteiro (1:59.693) and Rickard Rydell (1:59.795) were sixth and seventh fastest respectively. The top ten was completed by Pepe Oriola’s SEAT León (1:59.866), Franz Engstler’s BMW 320 TC (2:00.05) and the Ford Focus of James Nash (2:00.195) which is making its first appearance in the WTCC this weekend.

The second Free Practice session starts at 10.45 local time, with Qualifying at 14.30.

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