Sonoma WTCC: Tiago Monteiro sets testing pace for Honda
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, September 7th 2013, 01:09 GMT|
Tiago Monteiro put Honda at the top of the timesheets in World Touring Car Championship testing at Sonoma on Friday.
The 37-year-old set a benchmark 1m46.300s in the closing minutes to finally lockout a top spot that had traded hands several times over the 30-minute session.
Monteiro's Honda stablemates Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz also enjoyed spells at the top, but were bumped down to fifth and eighth respectively at the flag.
SEAT's defending champion Rob Huff was second overall, missing out on top spot by just over one tenth of a second.
"It's always good to start a weekend like this, obviously, but it's just a test," Monteiro said.
"The track is very slippery; there's not a lot of grip and so that causes us problems. We managed it OK, but we need to keep working hard."
Chevrolet locked out third and fourth through Pepe Oriola and Tom Chilton, both of whom were more than 0.3s down on Monteiro.
Champion-elect Yvan Muller - who can mathematically seal a fourth WTCC crown this weekend - was seventh, fractions behind the lead BMW of Tom Coronel.
Lada's James Thompson meanwhile missed much of the session after his front-left suspension failed just as he began a lap.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m46.300s 13 2. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m46.432s +0.132s 11 3. Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 1m46.691s +0.391s 10 4. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m46.829s +0.529s 13 5. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m46.840s +0.540s 12 6. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m46.900s +0.600s 14 7. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m46.936s +0.636s 12 8. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m47.169s +0.869s 12 9. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m47.269s +0.969s 14 10. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 1m47.508s +1.208s 14 11. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 1m47.674s +1.374s 11 12. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m47.775s +1.475s 13 13. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 1m47.886s +1.586s 12 14. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 1m48.012s +1.712s 11 15. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m48.111s +1.811s 13 16. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW 1m48.167s +1.867s 11 17. James Thompson Lada 1m48.424s +2.124s 9 18. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 1m48.441s +2.141s 14 19. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1m48.863s +2.563s 13 20. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 1m48.903s +2.603s 14 21. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 1m49.425s +3.125s 11 22. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m49.609s +3.309s 12 23. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 1m49.947s +3.647s 13 24. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW 1m50.309s +4.009s 15