Huff quickest in damp first practice

Rob Huff set the fastest time in first practice at the opening round of the World Touring Car Championship at Curitiba

Huff quickest in damp first practice

A light rain shower prior to the session left the track slick, and lap times proved some 10 seconds slower than those seen during Friday's tests. Huff's Chevrolet Cruze, fitted with the new generation 1.6 turbo engine, recorded a fastest time of 1m33.507s. SUNRED SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini ended session in second, 0.183s adrift of the Briton.

Portuguese racer Tiago Monteiro took third place in his Leon, just 0.003s ahead of Chevrolet's Alain Menu.

Reigning champion Yvan Muller (Chevrolet) was fifth, while Dane Michael Nykjaer, driving for the first time since Macau last year, completed the top six in his SEAT.

Friday's pacesetter Tom Coronel waited until the final ten minutes of the half hour session before taking to the track; the ROAL Motorsport BMW driver preferring to conserve his wet weather tyres.

Ending the morning one place behind Coronel in 10th, Robert Dahlgren continued development of the WTCC Volvo C30.

"I think the car is quite strong in the first two sectors," said Dahlgren. "However, we're still losing out a little to the turbo cars exiting the slow corners, and we need to improve the high-speed balance.

"Coming from [the STCC] the tracks were more go-kart style and didn't have so many fast corners. It's also my first time here, so I was experimenting with different lines in the wet rather than aiming for a particular lap time."

The damp conditions caught out a number of customer BMW runners. Engstler's Kristian Poulsen, KK Motorsport's Marchy Lee and Proteam drivers Fabio Fabiani and Mehdi Bennani had quick spins, but successfully avoided making contact with anything solid.

Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 1m33.507s 2. Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT 1m33.690s + 0.183s 3. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT 1m33.751s + 0.244s 4. Alain Menu Chevrolet 1m33.754s + 0.247s 5. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 1m33.781s + 0.274s 6. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT 1m33.931s + 0.424s 7. Carlos Bueno Chevrolet 1m34.026s + 0.519s 8. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW 1m34.566s + 1.059s 9. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m34.661s + 1.154s 10. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo 1m34.704s + 1.197s 11. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT 1m34.908s + 1.401s 12. Pepe Oriola  SUNRED SEAT 1m35.029s + 1.522s 13. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m35.112s + 1.605s 14. Marchy Lee KK BMW 1m35.417s + 1.910s 15. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT 1m35.630s + 2.123s 16. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m36.303s + 2.796s 17. Javier Villa Proteam BMW 1m36.356s + 2.849s 18. Darryl O'Young bamboo Chevrolet 1m36.402s + 2.895s 19. Yukinori Taniguchi bamboo Chevrolet 1m37.168s + 3.661s 20. Fabio Fabiani Proteam BMW 1m42.472s + 8.965s 
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