On a hot Arab morning, the drivers took part in the first Practice that was topped by Jean-Karl Vernay’s Leopard Racing Volkswagen Golf GTi. The Frenchman set the two fastest laps of the session: 2:13.678 and 2:13.565.
James Nash (2:13.819) ranked second in his Lukoil Craft-Bamboo SEAT León, followed by two Alfa Romeo Giulietta cars of GE-Force, Dušan Borković’s (2:14.137) and Davit Kajaia’s (2:14.287).
Nash’s time of 2:13.819 was a provisional best in the first part of the session, until Vernay bettered it; later on the Briton stopped on the track a few moments before the end with a suspected broken driveshaft.
Nash’s teammate Pepe Oriola set the fifth fastest lap (1:14.341) ahead of the M1RA pairing of Roberto Colciago (2:14.367) and Attila Tassi (2:14.535) in their Honda Civic Cars.
Stefano Comini placed his Comtoyou Racing Audi RS3 LMS tenth, but complained about the car’s lack of driveability. The two Opel Astra cars run by DG Sport were classified in 11th (Mat’o Homola) and 12th (Pierre-Yves Corthals); the young Slovak had to stop briefly on the track with engine temperature problems, but then rejoined.
Michela Cerruti had a moment at the wheel of GE-Force’s third Alfa Romeo Giulietta, when she lost the car while braking at Turn 1 and brushed the Armco barrier.
The second practice will begin at 15:55 local time.
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