Practice 2 - The field gets closer
Although Yvan Muller and José María López have placed their Citroën cars on top, the second free practice session saw the eight fastest drivers covered by only half second.
Halfway through the session, Muller posted the fastest lap for good, stopping the clock at 1:44.214 that was only four hundredths of a second faster than López’s 1:44.244. The Argentine tried to improve, but spoiled his chances by driving wide in one of the corners.
Behind the Citroën duo, Tom Chilton posted the third fastest lap (1:44.285) in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze, demoting Sébastien Loeb to fourth (1:44.364). Chilton said: “We changed everything in the car and it worked well! The behavior is completely different, the car is very good in the corners and consistent throughout the entire lap. I am very happy and now that things are much better, I’m starting to enjoy the track.”
Gabriele Tarquini (1:44.472) and Tiago Monteiro (1:44.525) were the best Honda drivers in fifth and sixth, with gaps 0.258 and 0.311 respectively. Hugo Valente (1:44.647) and Norbert Michelisz (1:44.737) lied only one and two further tenths behind.
Rob Huff drove his LADA Granta to the ninth fastest lap (1:44.981); and his gap of seven tenths was the smallest for the Russian car so far in the season. Mikhail Kozlovskiy explained: “We are closing the gap and this is positive. I was in the top-ten for most of the session, despite being without my sixth gear. There are still a number of things to improve to get the right set-up, but it seems the LADA is enjoying low grip conditions like we have here.”
Tom Coronel completed only four laps before the turbocharged blew and forced him to the pit.
In the TC2T class, Franz Engstler posted the fastest lap once again (1:50.781), but John Filippi managed to close the gap to five tenths. Argentina’s newcomer Camilo Echevarría is still struggling with mechanical problems on his BMW car.