Oschersleben, FP1 - The rain doesn’t stop Chevrolet
Best time for Yvan Muller
The drivers had to cope with pouring rain once again for the early morning practice. This did not change the outcome of the session as the Chevrolet trio of Yvan Muller, Alain Menu and Rob Huff dominated the field for most of the time.
After Muller and Huff had taken turns on top of the time sheet in the early stages, Menu joined the fight improving the fastest lap to 1:51.436 and then 1:51.249. After a red flag period, Huff responded with a 1:50.551 that was soon outpaced by Muller’s 1:50.331 and Menu’s 1:50.192. With only three minutes left on the clock Muller moved the mark forward to 1:49.668 and Menu’s last attempt of 1:50.055 was not enough to invert the positions.
Eventually Gabriele Tarquini managed to squeeze among the Chevrolet men, posting the third fastest lap of 1:50.176 and demoting Huff (1:50.233) to fourth. Robert Dahlgren’s Volvo ranked fifth (1:50.795) just ahead of the first of the Yokohama Trophy competitors, Michel Nykjær (1:50.927). Tom Coronel emerged as the best of the BMW group in eighth (1:51.463).
The track conditions caused problems to a number of drivers. Aleksei Dudukalo opened the dances crashing at turn 7, which cut his session short. In this same corner Kristian Poulsen and Javier Villa drove wide onto the grass, while Norbert Michelisz and Stefano D’Aste visited the meadows at the Hasseröder kurve and Muller straighted the Hoyer schikane.
They all rejoined, while Yukinori Taniguchi beached his car at the Hasseröder kurve and Fabio Fabiani spun at the Hotel kurve, hitting the tyres and forcing the race director to call for the red flag.
The situation did not improve when the session resumed. Mehdi Bennani, Michelisz, Poulsen, Franz Engstler and Nykjær drove on the grass in different corners and even the Chevrolet drivers took some risks: Huff spun at the last corner, while Menu and Muller went off at the Hasseröder kurve with the Frenchman’s Cruze gently kissing the tyre wall.
|01||Y. Muller||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:49.668|
|02||A. Menu||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:50.055||+0.387s|
|03||G. Tarquini||SR Leon 1.6T||1:50.176||+0.508s|
|04||R. Huff||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:50.233||+0.565s|
|05||R. Dahlgren||Volvo C30||1:50.795||+1.127s|
|06||M. Nykjaer||SR Leon 1.6T||1:50.927||+1.259s|
|07||D. O’Young||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:51.433||+1.765s|
|08||T. Coronel||BMW 320 TC||1:51.463||+1.795s|
|09||T. Monteiro||SR Leon 1.6T||1:51.568||+1.900s|
|10||F. Barth||SR Leon 1.6T||1:51.844||+2.176s|
|11||P. Oriola||SR Leon 1.6T||1:51.881||+2.213s|
|12||S. D’Aste||BMW 320 TC||1:52.301||+2.633s|
|13||K. Poulsen||BMW 320 TC||1:52.320||+2.652s|
|14||N. Michelisz||BMW 320 TC||1:52.617||+2.949s|
|15||J. Villa||BMW 320 TC||1:52.762||+3.094s|
|16||F. Engstler||BMW 320 TC||1:52.850||+3.182s|
|17||M. Bennani||BMW 320 TC||1:53.235||+3.567s|
|18||Y. Taniguchi||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:59.123||+9.455s|
|19||F. Fabiani||BMW 320 si||2:04.761||+15.093s|
|20||A. Dudukalo||SR Leon 1.6T||-:—.---||+—.---s|
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