Yvan Muller holds the advantage in first Oschersleben WTCC practice
|By Sam Tremayne||Saturday, July 30th 2011, 07:52 GMT|
Yvan Muller fired an early warning to his World Touring Car rivals at Oschersleben by topping a wet first practice, more than three tenths of a second clear of the field.
The session had initially seen all three Chevrolets locked together, with Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Muller all taking turns at the top - all three often covered by less than 0.2 seconds.
With three minutes to go however Muller dipped under the 1m50s bracket for the first time, moving more than half a second clear and ultimately sealing top spot.
There was still time to respond, as first Huff and then Menu set overall bests in the first sector. Menu was not as quick around the rest of the track however, and had to settle for second, 0.387s off Muller, while Huff half-spun in sector two to bring his own bid to a close.
Huff's error was Gabriele Tarquini's gain, with the Italian improving as the chequered flag fell to snatch third for his SUNRED Seat squad and split the three Chevrolet drivers for the first time in the session.
Huff finished fourth, the last driver to get within 1s of Muller - Robert Dahlgren in fifth finishing 1.127s off Muller in his Polestar Racing Volvo.
The tricky conditions caught out several drivers during the session, most notably BMW Proteam's Fabio Fabiani, who spun heavily into the tyres at the entrance of Turn 1, ending his session and bringing out the red flag.
Having set his fastest lap, Muller also made contact with the barriers after getting out of shape at Hasseroder - although damage was minimal and he was able to reverse and continue without fuss.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 1m49.668s 2. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m50.055s + 0.387s 3. Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT 1m50.176s + 0.508s 4. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m50.233s + 0.565s 5. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo 1m50.795s + 1.127s 6. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT 1m50.927s + 1.259s 7. Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet 1m51.433s + 1.765s 8. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m51.463s + 1.795s 9. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT 1m51.568s + 1.900s 10. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT 1m51.844s + 2.176s 11. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT 1m51.881s + 2.213s 12. Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW 1m52.301s + 2.633s 13. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW 1m52.320s + 2.652s 14. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW 1m52.617s + 2.949s 15. Javier Villa Proteam BMW 1m52.762s + 3.094s 16. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m52.850s + 3.182s 17. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m53.235s + 3.567s 18. Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet 1m59.123s + 9.455s 19. Fabio Fabiani Proteam BMW 2m04.761s + 15.093s 20. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT