Honda's Monteiro fastest in first WTCC Paul Ricard practice session

Honda's Tiago Monteiro set the pace in the first World Touring Car Championship practice session of the season at Paul Ricard after a late effort in his Civic WTCC

Honda's Monteiro fastest in first WTCC Paul Ricard practice session

The most meaningful running at the Le Castellet circuit was completed in the final five minutes after drivers had acclimatised to the damp but drying track conditions.

It was the Portuguese who made his last lap count, going fastest after the chequered flag had fallen with a lap of 1m42.565s to usurp Citroen's double champion Jose Maria Lopez by 0.133 seconds.

Gregoire Demoustier completed the top three in his Sebastien Loeb Racing privateer Citroen C-Elysee, just 0.001s slower than Lopez, while Norbert Michelisz was fourth in the second Civic having led for much of the session.

Gabriele Tarquini's earlier lap of 1m42.876s meant that three different manufacturers were represented in the top five, while Rob Huff was sixth, just ahead of compatriot Tom Chilton in the second SLR satellite C-Elysee.

Lada's Nicky Catsburg was another late mover as he improved to eighth ahead of Yvan Muller, the Frenchman enjoying a quiet run to the ninth-fastest time, while Polestar's Fredrik Ekblom completed the top 10 in his Volvo S60 Polestar.

Ferenc Ficza completed his first laps in the WTCC for Zengo with four tentative tours, while Tom Coronel also finished the session low on mileage, completing a solitary lap in his Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1.

PRACTICE ONE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m42.565s - 14
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 1m42.698s 0.133s 11
3 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m42.699s 0.134s 14
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m42.799s 0.234s 9
5 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 1m42.824s 0.259s 12
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m42.904s 0.339s 15
7 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m43.040s 0.475s 13
8 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 1m43.213s 0.648s 14
9 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 1m43.321s 0.756s 10
10 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 1m43.595s 1.030s 11
11 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 1m43.644s 1.079s 15
12 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m44.033s 1.468s 13
13 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 1m44.217s 1.652s 12
14 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m44.295s 1.730s 12
15 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m20.721s 38.156s 4
16 Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m30.946s 48.381s 11
17 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet - - 2


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