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Argentina WTCC: Yvan Muller fastest in Friday testing

Yvan Muller, RML Chevrolet, Termas WTCC 2013Yvan 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

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