Moscow WTCC: Citroen's Yvan Muller sets the pace in practice

Yvan Muller was the pacesetter in both free practice sessions at Moscow Raceway on Saturday morning ahead of qualifying for round six of the World Touring Car Championship

Moscow WTCC: Citroen's Yvan Muller sets the pace in practice

Tackling low-grip track conditions in FP1, the reigning WTCC champion set a fastest time of 1m39.898s, before improving to a 1m39.505s in the second session.

Honda's Gabriele Tarquini was Muller's closest competitor in both sessions, and the Italian believes his Civic WTCC will be a more competitive at the Russian venue than it was at the high-speed Salzburgring a fortnight ago.

Tarquini was the only other driver to break into the 1m29s in the opening session, and found a 0.043 second gain in FP2 to edge out Campos Chevrolet racer Hugo Valente by 0.024s.

Valente was one of four customer Chevrolet runners to enjoy a spell at the top of the timing screens in FP2.

Hungaroring reversed-grid winner Gianni Morbidelli posted an initial quickest time before being demoted by Muller.

After failing to record a lap in the first third of the session, ROAL Motorsport's Tom Coronel went top on his first flier.

Team-mate Tom Chilton edged out the series veteran by 0.005s at the half-way point, thanks to a lap of 1m40.098s.

The Briton's effort was usurped by Valente, who displayed no lasting effects from his heavy Salzburgring practice accident that forced him to start from the last row of the grid in Austria.

Valente was bumped to eventual third place, ahead of fellow Cruze runners Chilton, Coronel and Rene Munnich.

Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez was seventh, ahead of Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb.

In FP1, Coronel had claimed third by 0.038s from the second JAS factory Honda of Tiago Monteiro.

On his maiden WTCC appearance for Citroen, Chinese racer Ma Qing Hua ended the first session in ninth.

Practice 1                                                      
                                                                     
Pos Driver                Team               Time       Gap      Laps
 1. Yvan Muller           Citroen            1m39.898s            14 
 2. Gabriele Tarquini     Honda              1m39.962s  +0.064s   14 
 3. Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet     1m40.130s  +0.232s   15 
 4. Tiago Monteiro        Honda              1m40.168s  +0.270s   13 
 5. Sebastien Loeb        Citroen            1m40.306s  +0.408s   14 
 6. Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda      1m40.384s  +0.486s   13 
 7. Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet     1m40.480s  +0.582s   13 
 8. Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            1m40.496s  +0.598s   13 
 9. Ma Qing Hua           Citroen            1m40.796s  +0.898s   13 
10. Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet  1m40.900s  +1.002s   13 
11. Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda        1m40.985s  +1.087s   15 
12. James Thompson        Lada               1m41.115s  +1.217s   11 
13. Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet   1m41.272s  +1.374s   13 
14. Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet   1m41.445s  +1.547s   15 
15. Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet  1m41.645s  +1.747s   13 
16. Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada               1m41.803s  +1.905s   10 
17. Robert Huff           Lada               1m41.959s  +2.061s    6 
18. Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       1m43.732s  +3.834s   12 
19. Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       1m45.115s  +5.217s   14 
20. John Filippi          Campos SEAT        1m46.752s  +6.854s   12 
21. Nikita Misiulia       Campos SEAT        2m02.233s  +22.335s   4 
                                                                     
Practice 2                                                           
                                                                     
Pos Driver                Team               Time       Gap      Laps
 1. Yvan Muller           Citroen            1m39.505s            13 
 2. Gabriele Tarquini     Honda              1m39.919s  +0.414s   14 
 3. Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet   1m39.943s  +0.438s    9 
 4. Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet     1m40.098s  +0.593s   13 
 5. Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet     1m40.103s  +0.598s   13 
 6. Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet  1m40.214s  +0.709s   14 
 7. Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            1m40.268s  +0.763s   12 
 8. Tiago Monteiro        Honda              1m40.440s  +0.935s   13 
 9. Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda      1m40.462s  +0.957s   11 
10. Sebastien Loeb        Citroen            1m40.470s  +0.965s   13 
11. Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet  1m40.701s  +1.196s   14 
12. Ma Qing Hua           Citroen            1m40.709s  +1.204s   14 
13. Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda        1m40.870s  +1.365s   14 
14. James Thompson        Lada               1m40.934s  +1.429s   11 
15. Robert Huff           Lada               1m41.452s  +1.947s    7 
16. Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada               1m42.153s  +2.648s   13 
17. Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet   1m42.882s  +3.377s    7 
18. Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       1m43.778s  +4.273s   12 
19. Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       1m44.444s  +4.939s   11 
20. John Filippi          Campos SEAT        1m45.446s  +5.941s   14 
21. Nikita Misiulia       Campos SEAT        1m48.096s  +8.591s    3 
shares
comments
Ma Qing Hua feels ready for maiden WTCC race in Russia
Previous article

Ma Qing Hua feels ready for maiden WTCC race in Russia

Next article

Moscow WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez secures third pole of 2014

Moscow WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez secures third pole of 2014
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014