Pol Rosell and his brand new Volkswagen Golf were immediately impressive on their first session in the TCR International Series. The young Spaniard set the third fastest lap in the first Free Practice (1:40.927), only 0.146 seconds behind Stefano Comini’s best time (1:40.781) and a mere one thousandth behind Pepe Oriola’s second fastest lap (1:40.926). TCR drivers were very cautious in their first approach with the Red Bull Ring and lap times improved significantly as the session proceeded. Oriola set an early pace with three consecutive provisional fastest laps (1:45.848, 1:43.329 and 1:42.553) then Comini took command. The current championship leader moved the mark forward with a lap of 1:41.414 and then improved further to 1:40.807 and 1:40.781. In the final moments Rosell managed to climb to a provisional second place completing a lap in 1:40.927 but he was soon demoted to third by Oriola’s final effort of 1:40.926. Andrea Belicchi ranked in fourth position (1:41.002), ahead of Lorenzo Veglia (1:41.739) and the second VW of Mikhail Grachev (1:41.773). Gianni Morbidelli placed the fastest of the Honda Civic cars in eighth position with a lap of 1:42.167. TCR drivers will make their next appearance in thesecond Free Practice at 13.00 local time.
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