Monza WTCC: Yvan Muller leads all-Chevrolet practice top five
|By Sam Tremayne
||Saturday, March 23rd 2013, 11:28 GMT
Yvan Muller continued his impressive start to the 2013 World Touring Car Championship by blitzing final practice at Monza.
The Frenchman had little in the way of serious competition, with only two men - RML team-mate Tom Chilton and Alex MacDowall in the Bamboo Engineering Cruze - able to get within one second of his 1m57.504s.
That time is faster than Chevrolet managed at Monza in its time as a works squad.
While it owed something to the slickness of RML's slipstreaming tactic, with Muller following Chilton for much of his fastest lap, the Frenchman was also mighty in the second and third sectors.
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Bamboo Engineering also sent its drivers out in tandem and was rewarded as MacDowall finished second fastest, with James Nash a few tenths of a second down the road in fourth.
Fellow independent Michel Nykjaer meanwhile was fifth, making it a Chevrolet Cruze top-five lockout.
Gabriele Tarquini and defending champion Rob Huff were next up for Honda and Munnich SEAT respectively.
Both were more than 1.3s adrift of Muller, although neither benefited heavily from a slipstream tow on their fastest laps.
Pepe Oriola backed up his first practice pace by going eighth ahead of Lada's James Thompson and Fernando Monje in the Campos Racing-run SEAT.
Tom Coronel was the fastest of the BMW runners in 11th.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap
1. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m57.504s
2. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m58.293s + 0.789s
3. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m58.474s + 0.970s
4. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m58.506s + 1.002s
5. Michel Nykjaer NIKA Chevrolet 1m58.685s + 1.181s
6. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m58.819s + 1.315s
7. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m58.980s + 1.476s
8. Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 1m59.049s + 1.545s
9. James Thompson Lada 1m59.119s + 1.615s
10. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 1m59.276s + 1.772s
11. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m59.369s + 1.865s
12. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m59.407s + 1.903s
13. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m59.501s + 1.997s
14. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 1m59.746s + 2.242s
15. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 1m59.831s + 2.327s
16. Jean-Philippe Dayraut Anome BMW 1m59.857s + 2.353s
17. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 1m59.861s + 2.357s
18. Stefano d'Aste PB BMW 2m00.211s + 2.707s
19. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 2m00.264s + 2.760s
20. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 2m00.509s + 3.005s
21. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW 2m00.517s + 3.013s
22. Aleksei Dudukalo Lada 2m00.539s + 3.035s
23. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 2m01.723s + 4.219s
24. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 2m02.195s + 4.691s