Termas WTCC: Yvan Muller dominates morning practice

Yvan Muller blitzed the World Touring Car Championship's first official practice session in Argentina

Termas WTCC: Yvan Muller dominates morning practice

The runaway championship leader, also quickest in Friday's pre-event test, went top after the first flyers and his Chevrolet was never displaced thereafter.

With 10 minutes to run he underlined his dominance by slashing almost one second from his previous benchmark and dropping to a 1m49.096s, which was more than eight tenths faster than anyone else had managed.

That lap came just moments after home favourite Jose Maria Lopez, making his WTCC debut with the Wiechers BMW crew, had moved into second and within 0.005s of Muller's previous best.

The three-time Super TC2000 champion's time proved good enough to land him fourth overall, and was almost one second faster than any other BMW driver.

He was only bumped from second in the final minutes, as first Honda's Tiago Monteiro and then Muller's RML Chevrolet team-mate Tom Chilton improved.

Both men were still more than six tenths adrift of Muller however.

Monteiro was also forced to take an early engine change, meaning he will start from the back of the grid for race one regardless of qualifying.

Behind the top four, Zengo's Norbert Michelisz beat James Thompson in the lead Lada to fifth, while a late improvement helped Gabriele Tarquini to seal seventh.

Hugo Valente was the top SEAT man in eighth, fractions ahead of defending champion Rob Huff, while Alex MacDowall rounded out the top 10.

The 30-minute session was initially delayed due to technical issues with the television broadcast, but ran without incident once the problem was resolved.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car          Time       Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller         RML Chevrolet     1m49.096s
 2.  Tom Chilton         RML Chevrolet     1m49.749s  +0.653s
 3.  Tiago Monteiro      Honda             1m49.861s  +0.765s
 4.  Jose Maria Lopez    Wiechers BMW      1m49.906s  +0.810s
 5.  Norbert Michelisz   Zengo Honda       1m50.082s  +0.986s
 6.  James Thompson      Lada              1m50.304s  +1.208s
 7.  Gabriele Tarquini   Honda             1m50.413s  +1.317s
 8.  Hugo Valente        Campos SEAT       1m50.692s  +1.596s
 9.  Rob Huff            Munnich SEAT      1m50.745s  +1.649s
10.  Alex MacDowall      Bamboo Chevrolet  1m50.753s  +1.657s
11.  Darryl O'Young      ROAL BMW          1m50.885s  +1.789s
12.  Pepe Oriola         Tuenti Chevrolet  1m50.925s  +1.829s
13.  Tom Coronel         ROAL BMW          1m51.128s  +2.032s
14.  Rene Munnich        Munnich SEAT      1m51.167s  +2.071s
15.  Stefano D'Aste      PB BMW            1m51.243s  +2.147s
16.  Charles Ng          Engstler BMW      1m51.268s  +2.172s
17.  Michel Nykjaer      Nika Chevrolet    1m51.303s  +2.207s
18.  Fernando Monje      Campos SEAT       1m51.391s  +2.295s
19.  Mehdi Bennani       Proteam BMW       1m51.667s  +2.571s
20.  James Nash          Bamboo Chevrolet  1m51.738s  +2.642s
21.  Marc Basseng        Munnich SEAT      1m51.800s  +2.704s
22.  Franz Engstler      Engstler BMW      1m51.981s  +2.885s
23.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy  Lada              1m52.605s  +3.509s
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Argentina WTCC: Yvan Muller fastest in Friday testing
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