A bright sky welcomed WTCC drivers for the first practice session of the day.
The Citroën trio of José María López, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb posted the best lap times in the early stages. Loeb clocked a provisional fastest lap of 1:23.342 that was soon beaten by Muller’s 1:22.968; however it was López who set the session’s mark of 1:22.771.
Later Loeb improved to 1:23.221, but remained in third position. Tom Coronel was best of the rest and placed his Chevrolet RML in fourth position (1:23.253) ahead of Hugo Valente’s identical car (1:23.321).
The best Honda cars were Gabriele Tarquini’s (1:23.342) and Norbert Michelisz’s (1:23.508) in sixth and seventh respectively. Tom Chilton, Tiago Monteiro and Dušan Borković rounded off the top ten who were all covered by eighth tenths.
Franz Engstler emerged as the fastest in the TC2T class with a lap of 1:27.693. Halfway through the session, the red flag disrupted activities after Pasquale Di Sabatino’s BMW spun at Turn 10, hit the barrier and remained stranded in the gravel trap.
When the session resumed Hugo Valente lost his Chevrolet at the braking point of Turn 1 and spun, but managed to rejoin with no damage. A few moments later James Thompson’s LADA pirouetted at Turn 11, but the Englishman was able to regain control and avoid hitting the barriers. The red flagged was waved a second time with one minute left on the clock when Mikhail Kozlovskiy’s LADA slowed down and stopped on the track following an electrical problem.
The second practice will start at 11:00.