Argentina WTCC: Yvan Muller fastest in Friday testing
|By Sam Tremayne||Friday, August 2nd 2013, 17:07 GMT|
Yvan Muller set the pace in testing as the World Touring Car Championship took to Argentina's Termas de Rio Hondo circuit for the first time.
The championship leader was the only man to dip below the 1m50s barrier, and did so just before the chequered flag fell on the 30-minute Friday session.
His RML team-mate Tom Chilton was 0.368s down the road in second overall, while Honda's Gabriele Tarquini was also able to get within half a second of Muller, putting him third.
Defending champion Rob Huff edged out the Civics of Norbert Michelisz (in the Zengo-run machine) and Tiago Monteiro to take fourth.
Pepe Oriola, who had been top heading into the final minutes, was eventually pushed down to seventh.
Michel Nykjaer, currently Muller's closest rival in the championship, captured eighth ahead of Lada's James Thompson and Tom Coronel, BMW's highest representative.
Coronel finished fractions ahead of WTCC debutant and home favourite Jose Maria Lopez, who replaces Fredy Barth at the Wiechers squad this weekend.
The three-time Super TC2000 champion was second in the early running, but dropped to 11th following the spate of late improvements.
Fernando Monje, Franz Engstler and Oriola all spun during the session, the latter following late contact with James Nash at Turn 10.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m49.878s 13 2. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m50.246s +0.368s 13 3. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m50.349s +0.471s 13 4. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m50.430s +0.552s 13 5. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m50.724s +0.846s 13 6. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m50.872s +0.994s 14 7. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Chevrolet 1m50.905s +1.027s 11 8. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 1m50.912s +1.034s 14 9. James Thompson Lada 1m50.954s +1.076s 13 10. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m51.096s +1.218s 15 11. Jose Maria Lopez Wiechers BMW 1m51.131s +1.253s 13 12. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m51.299s +1.421s 13 13. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m51.508s +1.630s 12 14. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 1m51.531s +1.653s 15 15. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m51.647s +1.769s 15 16. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 1m51.996s +2.118s 11 17. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 1m52.475s +2.597s 13 18. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 1m52.748s +2.870s 14 19. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 1m52.923s +3.045s 9 20. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW 1m52.952s +3.074s 15 21. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 1m53.158s +3.280s 12 22. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m53.205s +3.327s 13 23. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1m54.725s +4.847s 13