Tom Coronel emerged as the fastest driver in today’s test at Curitiba. At the wheel of his ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC the Dutchman posted a lap of 1:23.090 just before the end of the 30-minute session.
After the morning shake down the drivers begun to look for aspiration on the long straight and lap times improved drastically. Three other men were able to break the 1:24 mark: Huff (1:23.713), Muller (1:23.796) and Barth (1:23.864).
Tarquini (1:24.003) and Bueno (1:24.338) clocked the 5th and 6th fastest laps respectively ahead of the Liqui Moly duo of Poulsen and Engstler, with Dahlgren and his Volvo in 9th position (1:24.379).
The session was disrupted once by the red flag after 14 minutes to tow Poulsen’s BMW off the gravel trap at the Esse de Alta.
In the dying moments Taniguchi took a big risk when his Chevrolet Lacetti ran very wide at the last corner, however the Japanese racer managed to avoid crashing into the tyre-wall.
Dudukalo did not take part as his team is still working to repair the cars after the massive morning crash; nor did Villa, whose car has still some mechanical issues to be solved..
Tom Coronel’s BMW was the fastest car in today’s test at Curitiba
THE WORD TO. TOM CORONEL
"It was one of those prefect lap you manage to post two, three times a year. I did not make any mistake and I benefited from a double slipstream on the straight from Poulsen and Menu. I was surprised by my time, but honestly I was at my limit.
I am very pleased, because this morning the car was driving me and I did not like it. For the afternoon test I adopted a more aggressive approach and asked for a number of set up changes. The package worked very well and I could feel I was in total control, though I did not expect such a big gap between me and the rest of the field."
DUDUKALO CRASHES IN WTCC SHAKE DOWN
The WTCC drivers hit the track for the first time at Curitiba for a shake down.
The session was due to last 90 minutes, however it was red-flagged with 20 minutes still on the clock and not resumed after Aleksei Dudukalo lost his SEAT TDi at the exit of the Esse da Alta and crashed heavily into the inside barriers. The Russian driver escaped unscathed while his car suffered from heavy damage.
Tiago Monteiro and his SEAT TDi created a surprise by setting the fastest lap of 1:24.360 ahead of the new Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 Turbo of Alain Menu (1:24.440) and Yvan Muller (1:24.446). The fourth fastest lap was clocked by Franz Engstler’s BMW 320 TC (1:24.472).
The top ten drivers were all covered by 0.6 seconds with Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo in 10th position (1:25.036).
Gabriele Tarquini and Javier Villa did not post any lap time as their cars sat in the respective garages for the last adjustments.
Dudukalo’s SEAT is brought back to the pit after the crash
FOUR BRANDS TO FIGHT FOR MANUFACTURERS‘ TITLE
Four different brands will be fighting to win the 2011 FIA WTCC Manufacturers‘ Championship.
The complete list was released today by the FIA and it includes:
– Chevrolet Europe
– BMW Customer Racing Teams
– SR Customer Racing
– Volvo Polestar Evaluation Team
All the SEAT cars taking part in the championship are eligible to score points for the SR Customer Racing.
DRIVERS MEET FANS AND MEDIA IN CURITIBA
Official proceedings to the 2011 WTCC season got underway yesterday in the centre of Curitiba that hosts the championship’s opening meeting this weekend.
The promotional day began with the drivers parading through the city centre on board a double-decker bus and then meeting the fans in a crowded autograph sessions in the central Boca Maldita.
In the evening WTCC drivers joined the Secretary for Sport of Curitiba, Mr Marcelo Richa and championship promoter Marcello Lotti for a reception for local media at the WYN Club.
Two Chevrolet racing cars were exhibited in front of the building: Carlos Bueno’s WTCC Cruze and Max Wilson’s Stock Car.
Drivers meet the fans in the autograph session at the Boca Maldita