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Domingo, 17 Novembro 2019 01:20 | Actualizado em Quarta, 27 Outubro 2021 13:26

WTCR Race of Macau Free Practice round-up

Norbert Michelisz and Rob Huff were fastest in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 respectively at WTCR Race of Macau today. A round-up appears below.

WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO 2019
Rounds 25, 26 and 27 of 30, Circuito da Guia, 14-17 November

Norbert Michelisz ended up on top after swapping fastest times with Yvan Muller in Free Practice 1. The BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver set the pace early in the 45-minute session in his Hyundai i30 N TCR, then improved his mark, only for Muller to beat it in the final 10 minutes. But Michelisz had an answer to the Lynk & Co’s pace by setting a time of 2m30.460s in the final minutes to jump back to the top. His time was just 0.139s quicker than Muller’s around the 6.12-kilometre Circuito da Guia. Just one second separated the top 10 around the demanding street circuit, with Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay third fastest in his Audi RS 3 LMS. He was just ahead of SLR VW Motorsport’s Rob Huff, who is bidding for his 10th Macau race victory this weekend. Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher was fifth fastest ahead of Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing’s Tom Coronel, who was enjoying a welcome upturn in form in his CUPRA TCR. Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Andy Priaulx was seventh, with Nicky Catsburg, PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona and Mehdi Bennani rounding out the top 10. Azcona was the leading Macau rookie, despite a gearbox problem nearing the end the session. WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO newcomer Robert Dahlgren performed well on his maiden session in the series. The Swede ended up in P13 in his PWR Racing Cupra TCR, while German Luca Engstler was P21 for BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team. #RoadToMalaysia points leader Esteban Guerrieri was down in P23 in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR due to a loose engine mounting, while the best of the six wildcard entries racing in Macau this weekend was local hero Billy Lo (P27) in his Tian Shi Zuver Team Audi RS 3 LMS. The session was briefly red flagged after 11 minutes when Gabriele Tarquini nosed his Hyundai into a barrier. “I locked the front tyres and went off-line and it was impossible to do the corner, nothing special,” said Tarquini. “It’s quite [a lot of] front damage unfortunately.”

British drivers Rob Huff and Andy Priaulx topped the times in Free Practice 2 at WTCR Race of Macau as six customer racing brands filled the top 10 places. SLR VW Motorsport’s Huff, who is chasing his 10th Macau race victory this weekend, set a best time of 2m29.422s about half-way through the 30-minute session in his Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR. Priaulx came closest to beating the time in his Cyan Performance Lynk & Co 03 TCR, but fell short by 0.253s around the 6.12-kilometre Circuito da Guia. The two British drivers led a pair of Frenchmen as Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay headed Cyan Performance Lynk & Co’s Yann Ehrlacher in third and fourth. Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch was fifth, with Thed Björk next up. BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Nicky Catsburg was the fastest of the Hyundai i30 N TCRs in seventh, ahead of the KCMG Honda Civic Type R TCR of Tiago Monteiro. BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz, who was fastest in Free Practice 1, was ninth, as PWR Racing’s Mikel Azcona was once again the quickest Macau rookie in his CUPRA TCR in P10. Yvan Muller, Aurélien Panis, Johan Kristoffersson, Gordon Shedden and Tom Coronel completed the top 15, while #RoadToMalaysia points leader Esteban Guerrieri again struggled for pace in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR and was down in P22. As in First Practice 1, the fastest of the six wildcard entries was Tian Shi Zuver Team’s Billy Lo who was P27 in his Audi RS 3 LMS. The session was briefly interrupted by a red flag after just five minutes when KC Motorgroup Jim Ka To hit a barrier in his Honda Civic Type R TCR. The red flags flew again right at the end after Lo spun and tagged a barrier.


Free Practice 1: Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N TCR)
“It was a good start. We managed to get the car in the right set-up window from the first moment. Here confidence makes a big lap time gain and since I was confident from the first moment, I was quite happy with the session. We try to improve from here because there is always improvement but the big question mark is how much the others have left. On this circuit, believe me or not, if you start a little bit off in terms of set-up you are not 100 per cent confident and it makes a difference of one second or even more. Since I had the confidence from the first moment, I never really had a doubt whether to push or not.”

Free Practice 2: Rob Huff (SLR VW Motorsport, Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR)
“I’m happy for Max, my number one mechanic, I’m happy for the whole team. We like it here, that’s no secret. We’re quite successful here, that’s no secret. But just getting a lap, getting no traffic… I got blocked on my first lap on new tyres and I set my time on the second [flying] lap when the tyres weren’t at their best. But I got blocked a little bit and my first sector wasn’t good at all. We really struggle in sector one with the aero and drag and we can see the Audis are 10 kilometres quicker than us, the Lynk & Cos as well. It’s just a trait of the Golf but we more than make up for it in the next sectors. I made a mistake [at Mandarin] and lost three or four kilometres so it wasn’t a special Rob Huff lap, I’ll save that one for tomorrow. I’m very confident for tomorrow, I was really pleased where the car was, it was a big step up from this morning. The car felt good this morning, I always like to start with a confidence-inspiring car before we start putting the car on the edge, getting myself on the edge. The car was on the edge [in Free Practice 2], a bit more than I anticipated, I had a few moments but we’ll be bang on tomorrow.”

First Qualifying: 08h50-09h30
First Qualifying DHL Media Zone (paddock): 09h30-09h40 (estimated)
First Qualifying press conference (Media Centre): 09h45-10h00 (estimated)
Second Qualifying Q1: 13h35-14h05
Second Qualifying Q2: 14h10-14h25
Second Qualifying Q3: 14h35 (first car starts top five DHL Pole Position shootout)
Second Qualifying DHL Media Zone (paddock): 1435-15h00 (estimated)
Second Qualifying press conference (Media Centre): 15h05-15h20 (estimated)

WTCR Race of Macau data kit: Available to download here
Who’s in it to win it? Click here to find out more about the WTCR drivers
WTCR / OSCARO explained: Click here to find out more
Live timing:
Results and event information:
Where and how to watch: Click here for more information

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