The competitors of the 2016 TCR International Series opened proceedings for the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix, hitting the track for a 25-minute Free Practice session.
With no rubber on the tarmac and following overnight rain, the track was slippery and some of the drivers had moments skidding sideways in the corners.
B3 Racing Team’s Mat’o Homola (2:14.602) and Dušan Borković (2:14.101) were the first to post significant lap times.
With ten minutes to go, Gianni Morbidelli and his WestCoast Racing Honda Civic jumped to the top of the time sheet with a lap of 1:13.905, with the red flag disrupting the session after Jordi Oriola’s Opel Astra stalled on the track and then rejoined at a walking pace.
The session resumed with only four minutes left, but this was enough for Craft-Bamboo Lukoil’s Pepe Oriola to post a new fastest lap of 2:13.018 in his SEAT León; Morbidelli improved as well, but had to settle for second (2:13.482) ahead of his new team-mate Aku Pellinen (2:13.824).
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Davit Kajaia emerged as the best Volkswagen driver, ranking seventh (2:14.602), while reigning champion Stefano Comini posted only the 13th fastest lap time (2:16.284).
Luigi Ferrara placed the Top Run Subaru in 14th position, followed by Andrea Belicchi’s Opel Astra and the Alfa Romeo Giulietta of Michela Cerrruti.
TCR drivers will make their next track appearance in the second Free Practice session at 16.50 local time.
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