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WTCC NEWS 

Suzuka WTCC: Tiago Monteiro leads Honda one-two in first practice

Tiago Monteiro WTCC 2013

Tiago Monteiro led his new team-mate Takuya Izawa as Honda claimed a one-two in first World Touring Car Championship practice at Suzuka.

The Portuguese driver hit the front from the outset, with his opening effort of 53.703s too good for the rest of the field.

With six minutes to run however he shaved an extra few hundredths off that time to end on a 53.683s, leaving him almost two tenths of a second clear at the top.

Izawa, a winner in Super GT this year, followed a similar pattern, with his opening effort enough to send him - and keep him - second overall.

Champion elect Yvan Muller was less than 0.1s down the road in third, while BMW man Tom Coronel prevailed in an extremely tight fight for fourth.

Norbert Michelisz, Pepe Oriola, James Thompson, Stefano D'Aste, Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff rounded out the top 10, with all six men finishing within four tenths of Coronel's time.

While there were no stoppages - in contrast to Friday's heavily interrupted test there were a multitude of incidents and moments throughout.

Muller, Huff and Michelisz were among several men to run off-track, while Masaki Kano drafted in to replace the ill Franz Engstler spun exiting Turn 8 and Marc Basseng slewed wildly into the gravel at Turn 2.

The latter ended the session down in 22nd, although still within 1.5s of pacesetter Monteiro.

Aside from Izawa, Hiroki Yoshimoto was best of the numerous newcomers, ending 11th fastest in the sole Nika Chevrolet.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                Time     Gap
 1.  Tiago Monteiro      Honda                   53.683s
 2.  Takuya Izawa        Honda                   53.876s  +0.193s
 3.  Yvan Muller         RML Chevrolet           53.941s  +0.258s
 4.  Tom Coronel         ROAL BMW                54.093s  +0.410s
 5.  Norbert Michelisz   Zengo Honda             54.114s  +0.431s
 6.  Pepe Oriola         Tuenti Chevrolet        54.179s  +0.496s
 7.  James Thompson      Lada                    54.268s  +0.585s
 8.  Stefano D'Aste      PB BMW                  54.319s  +0.636s
 9.  Gabriele Tarquini   Honda                   54.439s  +0.756s
10.  Rob Huff            Munnich SEAT            54.493s  +0.810s
11.  Hiroki Yoshimoto    Nika Chevrolet          54.497s  +0.814s
12.  Alex MacDowall      Bamboo Chevrolet        54.554s  +0.871s
13.  Tom Chilton         RML Chevrolet           54.561s  +0.878s
14.  Mehdi Bennani       Proteam BMW             54.654s  +0.971s
15.  Fernando Monje      Campos SEAT             54.677s  +0.994s
16.  James Nash          Bamboo Chevrolet        54.682s  +0.999s
17.  Darryl O'Young      ROAL BMW                54.842s  +1.159s
18.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy  Lada                    55.026s  +1.343s
19.  Masaki Kano         Engstler BMW            55.034s  +1.351s
20.  Tom Boardman        Special Tuning SEAT     55.064s  +1.381s
21.  Charles Ng          Engstler BMW            55.139s  +1.456s
22.  Marc Basseng        Munnich SEAT            55.154s  +1.471s
23.  Yukinori Taniguchi  Wiechers BMW            55.156s  +1.473s
24.  Rene Munnich        Munnich SEAT            55.616s  +1.933s
25.  Jeronimo Badaraco   Son Veng Chevrolet      55.699s  +2.016s
26.  Filipe de Souza     China Dragon Chevrolet  55.982s  +2.299s
27.  Henry Ho            Engstler BMW            56.002s  +2.319s
28.  Kin Veng Ng         China Dragon Chevrolet  56.501s  +2.818s
29.  Ka Lok Mak          RPM BMW                 57.400s  +3.717s
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