Augusto Farfus (1:40.096) topped the timesheets in testing for his BMW Team RBM’s local event this afternoon in Zolder, finishing ahead of Yvan Muller (1:40.259) and teammate Andy Priaulx (1:40.311).
Testing got underway at Circuit Zolder today as the World Touring Car Championship makes its first ever visit to the Belgian racetrack this weekend. Brazil’s Farfus was consistently at the sharp end but it was his final lap of the session that jumped him from fifth to first as the chequered flag came out. It was a good start to the weekend for BMW Team RBM, who is based less than a 150 km up the road in Mechelen, with Priaulx also in the top three. Bamboo-engineering’s Darryl O’Young leapt up the order in the second half of the session, recording a time of 1:40.507 to end fourth, topping the Independents‘ and Rookie categories in his Chevrolet Lacetti. SR-Sport’s Tom Coronel (1:40.647) rounded out the top five.
After spending the middle portion of the session in the pits, Chevrolet’s Rob Huff (1:40.883) posted the sixth quickest time ahead of teammate Alain Menu (1:40.961). After being quickest at the halfway point, Jordi Gené (1:41.123) ended the afternoon eighth in his SEAT León TDI with reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini posting exactly the same time down to a thousandth of a second around the 4-km circuit.
Local hero Vincent Radermecker (1:41.244) rounded out the top ten on his season debut for Chevrolet, while his fellow countryman Pierre-Yves Corthals set the 21st fastest lap (1:43.279).
The 30-minute session was free of any major incidents with Sergio Hernández spinning his BMW 320si at Turn 1 in the closing minutes.
Augusto Farfus commented: "It’s a great start to the weekend. Obviously it is just the beginning so there is a long way to go and we were lucky to get a good clear lap this afternoon but everything is looking fine."
Farfus‘ BMW was the fastest car in today’s testing at Zolder
O’YOUNG CREATES THE FIRST SURPRISE AT ZOLDER
Bamboo-engineering’s Darryl O’Young clocked a suprising fourth fastest lap in today’s test session that marked the team’s first appearance at the Belgian racetrack.
"The team did a fantastic job. It’s the first time they and the Chevrolet Lacetti have been to the circuit and they did a great job to give me a good set up right from the beginning. I have been to the circuit before, last year in FIA GT, so I know the track but we do have a few things we need to fine tune still. Overall the car felt good and we were on the pace so I’m really happy with Chevrolet. The grip was pretty low as the track was dirty so everyone will go quicker this for sure. We are going to have to keep working hard to keep up there but there is definitely still time to be found," commented the Chinese driver.
Darryl O’Young set the 4th fastest lap in the bamboo-engineering Chavrolet
2010 WTCC SETTLES ON 11 RACE MEETINGS
The current FIA WTCC season will remain with the eleven already confirmed events.
The possibility to replace the Mexican meeting – that was originally scheduled at Puebla on April 21st – has finally been dropped after the negotiations with interested event promoters did not meet with the championship’s logistic and promotional requirements.
Marcello Lotti, CEO of KSO explained: "We did not find the conditions to seal a satisfactory agreement, and taking into account that this is a season affected by the global crisis, we thought it was better to settle on eleven events."
iOPENER HELPS ONLINE GAMERS TO RACE AT ZOLDER
The WTCC rounds in Zolder will be the first FIA races in which gamers worldwide, sitting behind their own PC, will be able to race live against the real drivers using iOpener enabled technology.
After months of preparation and testing of the systems in practice and regional races, the iOpener enabled technology will be used for the first time live in an official FIA event.
"We are extremely proud that we can offer gamers from all over the globe the option to virtually participate live in a world championship race. And all that in real-time!" said Andy Lürling, Group President of iOpener.
With highly accurate satellite navigation and high-performance software algorithms the real and the virtual are merged. The iOpener enabled racing game plots the real drivers‘ real times in the game and allows gamers to join the race.
Tom Coronel is one of the drivers chosen to be challenged by online gamers: "It is a huge kick to experience the new competitors. You not only need to keep an eye on the guys on the track, but you continuously wonder whether someone online is quicker than you! They will have the same car as me, so everything will be down to the driving skill."
Join the WTCC races at Zolder visiting www.realtime-racing.com!