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Oschersleben, FP1 - The rain doesn’t stop Chevrolet

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By Olivier Ferret

30 July 2011 - 09:59
Oschersleben, FP1 - The rain doesn’t

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.

Pos. Driver Car Time Gap
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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