Practice 2 – Morbidelli ahead of the title contenders
18 November 2016
The WestCoats Racing Honda Civic cars continued to post the fastest laps in Free Practice, however this time it was Gianni Morbidelli who set the pace, while Tiago Monteiro – the fastest in yesterday’s first session – was sidelined by a problem with a manifold of the turbine.
The four title contenders – Pepe Oriola, Stefano Comini, Jean-Karl Vernay and James Nash – filled the positions between second and fifth in this order.
The session was disrupted by the red flag at the end of the first lap, when Douglas Khoo crashed at the Fisherman’s bend. When action resumed, less than twenty minutes remained on the clock.
Oriola was the first driver to post a significant lap of 2:36.071 that was beaten first by Morbidelli’e 2:35.499 and then by Dušan Borković’s 2:34.797.
Despite the fact that yellow flags were waved in a couple of corners, Oriola managed to find the right window to complete an all-green lap in 2:34.284, just to be beaten again by Morbidelli who posted the fastest lap for good at 2:33.495.
Oriola improved further to 2:33.977 and maintained second position ahead of Comini (2:34.179), Vernay (2:34.252) and current point leader Nash (2:34.285), while Borković and Mat’o Homola slipped down to sixth and seventh ahead of Josh Files, Attila Tassi and Andy Yan who led TCR Asia.
Monteiro was not the only driver to miss the session; the same fate occurred to Sergey Afanasyev who hit the wall on his first lap out and Petr Fulín, whose Alfa Romeo suffered from a turbo failure. The same problem also affected Andrea Belicchi’s sister Giulietta. Towards the end of the session Kevin Tse hit the barrier at the San Francisco bend.
TCR International Series drivers will hit the track again tomorrow morning at 7:30 for the Qualifying session.
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