WTCC Argentina: Esteban Guerrieri tops both practice sessions on debut

Debutant Esteban Guerrieri was a surprise leader in World Touring Car Championship practice in Argentina, topping both sessions at Termas de Rio Hondo

WTCC Argentina: Esteban Guerrieri tops both practice sessions on debut

Argentinian Guerrieri, who is making a one-off appearance in the championship in a second Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze this weekend, was a surprise leader in the opening half-hour session by more than a second from the Citroen of Yvan Muller, having used a new set of tyres to set a best time of 1m43.577 seconds.

Having set the initial pace in the second session, he dropped down the order as others improved on their second runs, but vaulted back to the top of the times with his final lap - a 1m43.247s - to ensure a practice clean-sweep.

"We obviously took advantage of new tyres for me but the good thing is I feel comfortable with the car," said Guerrieri.

"We could keep a good rhythm after three laps, which is a good sign.

"I am very impressed with the team and the guys, they do everything with a lot of concentration.

"We couldn't ask for more but we're just going to be patient; it's a long day.

"We can't get too much excited for what has just happened but we will keep building up for the weekend."

Compatriot and double champion Jose Maria Lopez got closest to Guerrieri's pace, finishing the session 0.139s down in his Citroen C-Elysee ahead of team-mate Muller.

Leading Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Tom Chilton could only manage the 13th-fastest time in his independent C-Elysee in the first session, but ended the second in fourth, one tenth slower than factory driver Muller.

Tiago Monteiro was the leading Honda driver in the second session, one place ahead of team-mate Rob Huff.

Norbert Michelisz was third-fastest in the opening session, but only eighth in the second, with the ROAL and Munnich Motorsport Chevrolets of Tom Coronel and the returning James Thompson either side of the Hungarian respectively.

In his second weekend in the WTCC, Norbert Nagy brought up the rear of the field in the second session after failing to set a time in Zengo Motorsport's sole entry for the weekend.

Uruguayan Mauricio Lambiris had agreed a provisional deal to make his WTCC debut in the team's second Civic this weekend, but with Zengo opting to cut back the number of staff it brought to Argentina as a result of regular driver Ferenc Ficza's absence - the Hungarian recovering after an operation to remove his appendix - the car could not be readied in time.

FP1 TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Esteban Guerrieri Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m43.557s 9
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1.014s 9
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1.038s 12
4 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1.229s 11
5 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1.233s 9
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1.425s 12
7 James Thompson All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1.556s 12
8 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1.723s 10
9 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1.770s 13
10 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1.898s 12
11 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1.903s 11
12 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1.912s 13
13 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1.925s 10
14 Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2.011s 11
15 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2.535s 13
16 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2.923s 12
17 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 4.288s 8
18 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 4.417s 4

FP2 TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Gap Laps
1 Esteban Guerrieri Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m43.247s 7
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 0.139s 8
3 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 0.320s 11
4 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 0.431s 10
5 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0.567s 13
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0.766s 13
7 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 0.815s 13
8 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0.824s 13
9 James Thompson All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 0.964s 13
10 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1.004s 11
11 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1.092s 12
12 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1.571s 13
13 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1.685s 8
14 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2.002s 8
15 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2.466s 6
16 Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 2.598s 12
17 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 3.374s 4
- Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda - 2


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