Free Practice 1 – Engstler tops a shortened session
08 July 2017
The session was delayed by one hour and 45 minutes due to a power failure that affected the region following a thunderstorm in the early morning. This will also delay the second session by 45 minutes, from 12:00 to 12:45.
Luca Engstler was impressive in setting the fastest lap, only ten minutes into the session. The German teen-ager clocked a 1:32.043 that was nearly one second faster than the second fastest lap: 1:33.021 of Pepe Oriola.
A number of drivers had moments. Grégoire Demoustier and Jens Reno Møller pitted with a flight front right tyre, but the biggest issue was the gravel on the asphalt of the chicane that caused a lot of cars to run wide at the following turn 10. Eventually Daniel Lloyd’s SEAT remained stranded on the gravel trap and prompted the red flag with five minutes left. The session was not resumed.
It was a strange session, as all the top guns – but Oriola – seemed to struggle with their cars’ set up. Dušan Borković was ninth, Jean-Karl Vernay 12th, Attila Tassi 15th, Roberto Colciago 16th and Stefano Comini 17th.
Behind Engstler and Oriola, Jaap van Lagen (1:33.44), Rob Huff (1:33.495) and Aurélien Panis (1:33.611) filled the positions between third and fifth.
Luca’s father and team principal Franz Engstler was obviously delighted: “Luca is very committed and he’s working very hard, as we can see from how quickly he is improving in performance. We have tested here a lot, and this definitely helped him today.”
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