Practice 1 : Chevy and Honda on top
WTCC competitors opened hostilities at Marrakech after yesterday’s rainstorms forced to cancel all track activities, including the 30-minute test session for touring cars.
Drivers were very cautious in the early stages, proving the asphalt’s grips and new kerbs. But as the session progressed, they significantly increased their pace.
The Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic cars set the benchmark times, filling the four top spots of the classification. Yvan Muller emerged as the fastest with a lap of 1:46.095 posted at the end of the session that was enough to beat Gabriele Tarquini’s 1:46.125 by 32 thousandths of a second.
Muller’s team-mate Tom Chilton, who had topped the time sheet for a while, ranked in third with a lap of 1:46.168, while Norbert Michelisz and the Zengö Motorsport Honda set the fourth fastest time of 1:46.601.
James Thompson placed his LADA Granta in a promising fifth position with a lap of 1:46.702, ahead of Tom Coronel’s BMW 320 TC (1:46.835) and Michel Nykjær’s Chevrolet (1:46.975) that topped the Yokohama Trophy.
Alex MacDowall (1:46.995), Tiago Monteiro (1:47.039) and Fernando Monje (1:47.347) – fastest of the SEAT drivers – rounded off the top-ten.
Local hero Mehdi Bennani was classified 19th and received a warning for repeatedly trespassing the track limits.
The next free practice will start at 12.15 local time.