After setting the fastest lap in yesterday’s testing, Rob Huff remained on top of the TCR International Series timesheet after this morning’s first Free Practice at Zhejiang Circuit.
However, the former world champion clocked the session’s fastest time of 1:34.344 only on his final lap, demoting the two Hyundai i30 N cars of Gabriele Tarquini and Alain Menu to second and third.
On their maiden racing appearance the Korean cars had been the fastest for most of the session. Menu posted a provisional best lap of 1:34.591 after ten minutes, and Tarquini improved it to 1:34.449 a few minutes later.
Behind the first three, Pepe Oriola was the only other driver to break the 1:35 wall, ranking fourth with a lap of 1:34.984. Gianni Morbidelli (1:35.129), Jean-Karl Vernay (1:35.144), Davit Kajaia (1:35.276), Dušan Borković (1:35.410), Roberto Colciago (1:35.539) and James Nash (1:35.618) rounded off the top ten.
Mat’o Homola’s Opel Astra was 12th fastest (1:35.880), while Zhendong Zhang was the best of the Audi drivers in 14th position (1:36.001). As for Attila Tassi, he was classified 17th; after missing the whole testing session yesterday with an engine issue, the young Hungarian is still working on the set up.
Duncan Ende was sidelined by a wastegate problem, while Denis Dupont spun at the beginning of the session and hit the barrier at T3; the young Belgian limped back to the pits with a rear wheel locked and did not rejoin.
The second Free Practice will start at 12:00 local time; live streaming at www.tcr-series.com and www.tcr-series.tv.