Volvo's Ekblom and Lada's Catsburg lead Slovakia WTCC practice

Polestar Volvo's Fredrik Ekblom and Lada's Nicky Catsburg set the pace in World Touring Car Championship practice at the Slovakia Ring

Volvo's Ekblom and Lada's Catsburg lead Slovakia WTCC practice

Swede Ekblom produced the fastest time in either of the two sessions in Saturday morning's first practice, leading a Polestar one-two with a best time of 2m05.420s in his Volvo S60 to eclipse team-mate Thed Bjork by 0.313 seconds.

Catsburg was third-fastest, just 0.030s behind Bjork and ahead of team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, but came to a halt in his Lada Vesta out on track towards the end of the session.

The Dutchman bounced back in the second session though, posting his fastest time of the day to top the practice two timesheets.

Catsburg's 2m05.581s was a tenth-and-a-half slower than Ekblom's pace from first practice but was enough for him to leapfrog both of the Polestar drivers towards the end of the second session, with Bjork second once again, ahead of Ekblom.

Norbert Michelisz was fifth and the leading Honda in first practice and followed that up with the fourth-fastest time in the second session, ahead of the returning James Thompson - who was an impressive fifth in his Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze.

As had been the case a day earlier in Friday's testing session, Citroen's contingent were well down the pecking order.

Tom Chilton in his satellite Citroen C-Elysee registered the best placing for any of the marque's cars with eighth in second practice, while world champion Jose Maria Lopez was ninth in the first session before finishing the second in 12th.

Chilton's Sebastien Loeb Racing team-mates Mehdi Bennani and Gregoire Demoustier propped up the timesheets on both occasions.

PRACTICE ONE TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m05.420s - 9
2 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m05.733s 0.313s 12
3 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 2m05.763s 0.343s 9
4 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 2m06.043s 0.623s 9
5 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.172s 0.752s 10
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.357s 0.937s 9
7 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.603s 1.183s 11
8 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 2m06.750s 1.330s 10
9 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 2m06.814s 1.394s 11
10 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.863s 1.443s 10
11 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m07.295s 1.875s 11
12 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 2m07.365s 1.945s 11
13 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m07.509s 2.089s 11
14 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m07.693s 2.273s 9
15 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m07.923s 2.503s 12
16 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m08.015s 2.595s 12
17 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m08.056s 2.636s 12

PRACTICE TWO TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 2m05.581s - 10
2 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m05.885s 0.304s 9
3 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2m06.596s 1.015s 11
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.605s 1.024s 10
5 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.712s 1.131s 11
6 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 2m06.820s 1.239s 10
7 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.914s 1.333s 11
8 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m07.263s 1.682s 10
9 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m07.551s 1.970s 8
10 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 2m07.557s 1.976s 9
11 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 2m07.705s 2.124s 12
12 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 2m07.814s 2.233s 9
13 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m07.930s 2.349s 10
14 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m07.941s 2.360s 9
15 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m07.971s 2.390s 5
16 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m08.200s 2.619s 12
17 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m09.862s 4.281s 11

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