Muller tops Okayama test

Yvan Muller put his SEAT Leon TDI at the top of the timesheets in official testing ahead of the World Touring Car Championship round at Okayama

The Frenchman, who lies second in the world championship, seven points behind his team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, lapped the Japanese circuit in 1m38.518s, beating Augusto Farfus's Schnitzer BMW by just 0.016s.

The next four positions were locked out by the other works SEATs with Tiago Monteiro heading Rickard Rydell, Tarquini - 0.289s behind Muller - and Jordi Gene. All four set their best times in the final three minutes.

Former world champion Andy Priaulx had headed the timesheets early on in his RBM BMW, but he was pushed back to seventh by the end, one place ahead of Alain Menu in the best of the Chevrolet Cruzes.

Britain's James Thompson was the best of the Lada drivers in 13th place - the new European Touring Car Cup winner impressively within a second of Muller's benchmark time in his Priora.

Felix Porteiro was the best of the independent runners in his Proteam BMW.

Pos  Driver                  Car        Time       Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller             SEAT       1m38.518s
 2.  Augusto Farfus          BMW        1m38.534s  + 0.016s
 3.  Tiago Monteiro          SEAT       1m38.546s  + 0.028s
 4.  Rickard Rydell          SEAT       1m38.694s  + 0.176s
 5.  Gabriele Tarquini       SEAT       1m38.807s  + 0.289s
 6.  Jordi Gene              SEAT       1m38.817s  + 0.299s
 7.  Andy Priaulx            BMW        1m38.835s  + 0.317s
 8.  Alain Menu              Chevrolet  1m38.883s  + 0.365s
 9.  Jorg Muller             BMW        1m39.049s  + 0.531s
10.  Nicola Larini           Chevrolet  1m39.193s  + 0.675s
11.  Robert Huff             Chevrolet  1m39.273s  + 0.755s
12.  Sergio Hernandez        BMW        1m39.425s  + 0.907s
13.  James Thompson          Lada       1m39.498s  + 0.980s
14.  Felix Porteiro          BMW        1m39.614s  + 1.096s
15.  Alessandro Zanardi      BMW        1m39.653s  + 1.135s
16.  Stefano D'Aste          BMW        1m39.840s  + 1.322s
17.  Jaap van Lagen          LADA       1m40.223s  + 1.705s
18.  Nobuteru Taniguchi      BMW        1m40.238s  + 1.720s
19.  Tom Boardman            SEAT       1m40.488s  + 1.970s
20.  Seiji Ara               BMW        1m40.734s  + 2.216s
21.  Joao Paolo de Oliveira  SEAT       1m40.734s  + 2.216s
22.  Franz Engstler          BMW        1m40.826s  + 2.308s
23.  Tom Coronel             SEAT       1m41.124s  + 2.606s
24.  Kristian Poulsen        BMW        1m41.481s  + 2.963s
25.  Kirill Ladygin          LADA       1m41.840s  + 3.322s
26.  Henry Ho                BMW        1m42.480s  + 3.962s
27.  Masaki Kano             BMW        1m44.121s  + 5.603s

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