Alain Menu broke the record for the fastest touring car lap around Porto's Circuito da Boavista in today's opening World Touring Car Championship practice session
The Swiss driver's 2m07.068s comfortable eclipsed the 2m09.026s produced by Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff in testing yesterday, which had also been a record.
The quicker times are largely the product of the track having been widened and, in places, resurfaced since the championship's last visit. The fastest time on the previous configuration was Gabriele Tarquini's 2m09.308s pole lap in 2009, and the times are expected to fall again later today.
Chevrolet locked out the top three places in the session, with Menu, Yvan Muller and Huff being covered by less than 0.1 seconds. The closest challenger was Tom Coronel, who was 0.5s behind in his ROAL BMW.
Fredy Barth was quickest of the Independent drivers, posting a 2m08.026s in his SUNRED SEAT to put him just ahead of series returnee and former Independent champion Stefano d'Aste's Wiechers-Sport BMW.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Alain Menu Chevrolet 2m06.992s 2. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 2m07.080s + 0.088s 3. Rob Huff Chevrolet 2m07.085s + 0.093s 4. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 2m07.587s + 0.595s 5. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT 2m07.825s + 0.833s 6. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT 2m08.026s + 1.034s 7. Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW 2m08.041s + 1.049s 8. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW 2m08.075s + 1.083s 9. Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT 2m08.151s + 1.159s 10. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT 2m08.394s + 1.402s 11. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 2m08.477s + 1.485s 12. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT 2m08.518s + 1.526s 13. Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet 2m08.522s + 1.530s 14. Javier Villa Proteam BMW 2m08.713s + 1.721s 15. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW 2m08.784s + 1.792s 16. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo 2m09.026s + 2.034s 17. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 2m09.138s + 2.146s 18. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT 2m09.282s + 2.290s 19. Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet 2m12.342s + 5.350s
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