BMW Team Germany’s duo of Augusto Farfus and Jörg Müller set the pace in today’s test at Macau.
In the first half of the session all drivers were very cautious in getting to know the grip on the track. Tom Coronel was the first to top the time sheet with a lap of 2:35.871, which was then improved by Gabriele Tarquini (2:34.585), Yvan Muller (2:34.281), Müller (2:34.216) and Rickard Rydell (2:33.765).
Halfway through the session Farfus and Müller clocked the two fastest laps for good: 2:32.747 for the Brazilian and 2:33.333 for the German. Afterwards, only Robert Huff’s Chevrolet managed to close the gap as the Briton completed a lap of 2:33.729 and climbed to third.
Championship leaders Tarquini (2:34.069) and Muller (2:34.049) were placed in seventh and fifth positions respectively, while Coronel improved to 2:34.178 and emerged as the fastest of the Independents. James Thompson’s best try was 2:34.773 that placed his LADA Priora in 13th.
A few drivers had some moments. Lei Kit Meng went straight at the Lisbõa bend and later spun at Dona Maria but managed to avoid the walls. Which was not the case for Stefano D’Aste and Jaap van Lagen who stopped at Matsuya and Fishermen’s respectively.
The WTCC competitors will hit the track again tomorrow for two 30-minute practice sessions (at 8.45 and 12.15 local time) and the extended 45-minute qualifying (Q1 from 15.50 to 16.20 ; Q2 from 16.25 to 16.40).
Farfus and Coronel were the fastest drivers (overall and independent) in Macau test
WTCC TEAM WIN MACAU CHALLENGE
The FIA WTCC team won the MGP challenge that took place yesterday at Macau’s Fisherman’s Wharf as promotional act of the racing weekend.
Tom Coronel (captain), Tom Boardman, Augusto Farfus, Robert Huff, Tiago Monteiro and Jaap van Lagen made up the six-person crew that defeated three other teams of Formula 3 drivers, bike riders and representatives of the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf.
The challenge consisted in a course with four obstacles: Heritage (completing a puzzle of famous Macau landmarks), Driving Test (handling a remote-control toy car around a scale map of the Guia circuit), Best Foot Forward (jumping in the squares of a ladder laid out on the ground), Dim Sum (bringing to the finish line two piles of Dim Sum baskets without dropping it).
The FIA WTCC completed the challenge with the fastest time from F3 and Bikers, but not without casualties. While crossing the line, Coronel threw the Dim Sum baskets in the air and was hit by one of them, receiving a couple of scratches on his lip and forehead.
The FIA WTCC celebrate their victory in the MGP Challenge
A NEW LIVERY FOR TOM CORONEL’S CAR
Tom Coronel’s SUNRED Engineering-run SEAT León will sport a brand new livery in Macau, as the Dutch driver got backing from Hong Kong-based company Noble Group.
This is the third different livery for Coronel during the current season, after the orange-and-white of SEAT Netherlands and the dark blue of McGregor’s.
"I actually have to thank McGregor’s and Noble Group, because without them I would have been forced to miss Japan and Macau, losing my chances to win the Independents‘ title," Coronel said.
COUNTDOWN: – 3 DAYS
to the 2009 FIA WTCC Marriott Guia Race of Macau – 20th / 22nd November, in Macau