Rob Huff leads Monza WTCC test on Munnich Citroen debut
|By Jack Cozens||Tuesday, March 14th 2017, 17:21 GMT|
Britain's Rob Huff topped the first day of the World Touring Car Championship's pre-season test at Monza in his Munnich Motorsport Citroen C-Elysee.
Huff, who has switched to Munnich for 2017 after a year with the Honda factory squad, topped both the morning and afternoon sessions as he completed 76 laps of running at the Italian Grand Prix venue.
The 2012 champion's eventual best lap time of 1m52.888s in the morning was enough to leave him just shy of half a second clear of the rest.
Mehdi Bennani was Huff's closest challenger on the leaderboard, the Independents' champion setting a fastest lap of 1m53.336s in the afternoon in his Sebastien Loeb Racing C-Elysee.
Rookie Yann Erlacher was an impressive third for RC Motorsport.
Erlacher, nephew of four-time champion Yvan Muller, was only confirmed for the 2017 season last Friday but dragged his ex-factory Lada Vesta to a best time of 1m53.364s.
That was enough for Erlacher to trump his uncle, testing for Volvo as part of his role with the manufacturer in place of Nick Catsburg, by the best part of a second.
Tom Chilton was 0.002 seconds shy of Erlacher in fourth, while Muller was sandwiched by fellow Volvo drivers of Nestor Girolami (fifth) and Thed Bjork (seventh).
Honda drivers Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro propped up the timesheets, the pair finishing the day a little more than 3s away from Huff's benchmark in 11th and 12th in a low-key afternoon session.