Macau WTCC: Rob Huff fastest in disrupted Thursday test
|By Sam Tremayne||Thursday, November 14th 2013, 06:43 GMT|
Rob Huff edged out Norbert Michelisz and Yvan Muller to set the pace in World Touring Car Championship testing in Macau.
The Briton, who has claimed pole for the last four years at the street circuit, hit the front in the final five minutes of a session punctuated by several crashes and one red flag.
He then improved his own benchmark in the final minute, setting a 2m32.147s to seal top spot by just seven hundredths of a second.
Suzuka racewinner Michelisz claimed second for the Zengo Honda squad, with RML Chevrolet's Muller - who set the pace prior to the red flag - finishing third, within a quarter of a second of Huff's best.
Honda and Chevrolet had dominated the opening 20 minutes, with Muller and Tuenti counterpart Pepe Oriola trading fastest times with Honda works driver Tiago Monteiro.
Monteiro wound up fourth overall, just ahead of Oriola and Stefano D'Aste, who recovered from a crash to finish as the top BMW driver in sixth.
The Italian had come together with Campos's new recruit Konstantins Calko at Moorish Hill, but was able to return to the pits and rejoin the session in the final minutes.
Moments after that contact, the red flag flew when Nika's Yukinori Taniguchi spun at the first corner and hit the inside wall.
Oriola had been fastest at that point, but when the session resumed he was immediately demoted by Monteiro, who in turn was pushed down the order as Huff, Michelisz and Muller improved.
RML's Tom Chilton and ROAL BMW man Tom Coronel rounded out the top eight, with Lada's James Thompson beating Mehdi Bennani to ninth.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 2m32.147s 2. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 2m32.218s +0.071s 3. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 2m32.371s +0.224s 4. Tiago Monteiro Honda 2m32.693s +0.546s 5. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Chevrolet 2m32.780s +0.633s 6. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW 2m33.314s +1.167s 7. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 2m33.347s +1.200s 8. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 2m33.489s +1.342s 9. James Thompson Lada 2m33.532s +1.385s 10. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 2m33.831s +1.684s 11. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 2m34.439s +2.292s 12. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 2m34.702s +2.555s 13. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 2m34.766s +2.619s 14. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 2m34.814s +2.667s 15. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 2m35.767s +3.620s 16. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 2m35.898s +3.751s 17. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 2m35.925s +3.778s 18. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 2m37.727s +5.580s 19. Freddy Barth Wiechers BMW 2m38.455s +6.308s 20. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 2m39.447s +7.300s 21. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 2m39.794s +7.647s 22. Michael Soong Campos SEAT 2m39.986s +7.839s 23. Henry Ho Engstler BMW 2m40.337s +8.190s 24. Kin Veng Ng China Dragon Chevrolet 2m43.221s +11.074s 25. Eurico De Jesus PAS Macau Honda 2m44.193s +12.046s 26. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 2m44.281s +12.134s 27. Joseph Rosa-Merszei Engstler BMW 2m44.571s +12.424s 28. Filipe de Souza China Dragon Chevrolet 2m44.856s +12.709s 29. Jeronimo Badaraco Son Veng Chevrolet 2m45.517s +13.370s 30. Celio Alves Dias China Dragon Chevrolet 2m45.559s +13.412s 31. Konstantins Calko Campos SEAT 2m45.945s +13.798s 32. Ka Lok Mak RPM BMW 2m46.050s +13.903s 33. Yukinori Taniguchi Nika Chevrolet 2m50.468s +18.321s 34. Lam Kam San China Dragon Chevrolet 3m10.289s +38.142s