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WTCC NEWS 

WTCC Sonoma: Gabriele Tarquini tops second practice session for Lukoil SEAT

Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil SEAT 2012 WTCC Sonoma

Gabriele Tarquini set the fastest time in the final World Touring Car Championship practice session at Sonoma on Saturday.

The Italian's lap of 1m46.457s was a tenth of a second slower than Yvan Muller's fastest effort from the morning. Championship leader Muller took second in FP2, 0.286s adrift of Tarquini's benchmark.

A large quantity of dust was brought onto the track by drivers dropping wheels off the track, and Lukoil SEAT driver Tarquini received a black and white warning flag for repeatedly cutting Turn 3A early in the session.

Ex-Formula 1 driver Tiago Monteiro's SUNRED machine ended the session in third, ahead of Tom Boardman.

Briton Boardman was the first man into the 1m46s in the session to briefly top the timing screens shortly after the midway point.

After a puncture disrupted his acclimatisation to Sonoma on Friday, Rob Huff was markedly closer to the top of the classification in FP2 and claimed fifth place.

The third RML-prepared factory Chevrolet of Alain Menu completed the top six.

Tarquini's team-mate Aleksei Dudukalo was seventh ahead of 2012 European Touring Car Cup winner Fernando Monje. Both men enjoyed spells at the top of the classification.

Several BMW runners suffered multiple spins. Stefano D'Aste appeared to encounter great difficulty negotiating Turn 2 without drama in his Wiechers-Sport entry, and Franz Engstler also pirouetted.

After an awkward inter-team collision in FP1, ROAL Motorsport team-mates Tom Coronel and Alberto Cerqui confined their dramas to individual moments.

Pos  Driver                Team/Car               Time        Gap
 1.  Gabriele Tarquini     Lukoil SEAT            1m46.457s
 2.  Yvan Muller           Chevrolet              1m46.743s   + 0.286s
 3.  Tiago Monteiro        SUNRED SEAT            1m46.881s   + 0.424s
 4.  Tom Boardman          Special Tuning SEAT    1m46.885s   + 0.428s
 5.  Robert Huff           Chevrolet              1m46.987s   + 0.530s
 6.  Alain Menu            Chevrolet              1m47.080s   + 0.623s
 7.  Aleksei Dudukalo      Lukoil SEAT            1m47.136s   + 0.679s
 8.  Fernando Monje        SUNRED SEAT            1m47.224s   + 0.767s
 9.  James Nash            Arena Ford             1m47.308s   + 0.851s
10.  Tom Chilton           Arena Ford             1m47.369s   + 0.912s
11.  Darryl O'Young        Special Tuning SEAT    1m47.493s   + 1.036s 
12.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo BMW              1m47.495s   + 1.038s
13.  Pepe Oriola           Tuenti SEAT            1m47.593s   + 1.136s
14.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW           1m47.828s   + 1.371s
15.  Tom Coronel           ROAL BMW               1m48.089s   + 1.632s
16.  Alberto Cerqui        ROAL BMW               1m48.471s   + 2.014s
17.  Alex MacDowall        Bamboo Chevrolet       1m48.592s   + 2.135s
18.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam BMW            1m48.674s   + 2.217s
19.  Charles Ng            Engstler BMW           1m48.967s   + 2.510s
20.  Stefano D'Aste        Wiechers BMW           1m48.972s   + 2.515s
21.  Robb Holland          Bamboo Chevrolet       1m49.712s   + 3.255s
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