Macau WTCC: Honda's title hopeful Michelisz beats Huff in FP1
|By Jack Cozens||Thursday, November 16th 2017, 06:21 GMT|
Honda driver Norbert Michelisz led the way in the first World Touring Car Championship practice session in Macau in preparation for Sunday's Guia race.
Championship hopeful Michelisz jumped to the top of the times with 15 minutes of the session gone, and sat more than a second clear of his rivals for much of the remaining half hour.
Rob Huff eventually got within four tenths of a second of the fastest time in his Munnich Motorsport Citroen C-Elysee after a raft of improvements in the final 15 minutes of the session, but got no closer to the 2m27.802s lap recorded by Michelisz aboard his Honda Civic.
Tom Chilton headed a Sebastien Loeb Racing 3-4-5 in his C-Elysee ahead of Mehdi Bennani and Ma Qing Hua, who is returning to the WTCC for the Macau event after two years away from the series.
Bennani had been Michelisz's closest rival early on but did not finish the session after clattering into the barriers on the approach to the Melco Hairpin with three minutes remaining, with his C-Elysee removed by a recovery crane before the end of the session.
Nestor Girolami was fastest of the Volvo contingent and topped a tight pack of cars from sixth to ninth, beating Michelisz's factory Honda team-mates Ryo Michigami and Esteban Guerrieri, who is deputising for the injured Tiago Monteiro for a second round in a row.
The Honda pair separated Girolami and his team-mates Nicky Catsburg and Thed Bjork, who completed the top 10 in their respective Volvo S60s.
Points leader Bjork ended the session 2.618 seconds slower than chief title rival Michelisz.
Two drivers failed to set a time; Daniel Nagy brought the session to an early halt after stopping his Zengo Motorsport Honda Civic on his out-lap, while Campos Racing's Kin-Pong Clerebold Chan did not take to the circuit.
|1||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||2m27.802s||-||11|
|2||Rob Huff||Munnich Motorsport||Citroen||2m28.154s||0.352s||13|
|3||Tom Chilton||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||2m28.745s||0.943s||12|
|4||Mehdi Bennani||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||2m29.039s||1.237s||11|
|5||Ma Qing Hua||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||2m29.826s||2.024s||11|
|6||Nestor Girolami||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||2m29.929s||2.127s||12|
|7||Ryo Michigami||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||2m30.000s||2.198s||12|
|8||Esteban Guerrieri||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||2m30.011s||2.209s||13|
|9||Nicky Catsburg||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||2m30.084s||2.282s||13|
|10||Thed Bjork||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||2m30.420s||2.618s||14|
|11||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet||2m31.442s||3.640s||13|
|12||John Filippi||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||2m31.603s||3.801s||13|
|13||Yann Ehrlacher||RC Motorsport||Lada||2m32.078s||4.276s||14|
|14||Kevin Gleason||RC Motorsport||Lada||2m32.928s||5.126s||12|
|15||Zsolt David Szabo||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||2m36.628s||8.826s||9|
|16||Ka Lok Mak||RC Motorsport||Lada||2m38.501s||10.699s||11|
|17||Po Wah Wong||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||2m53.766s||25.964s||9|
|18||Daniel Nagy||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||-||-||0|
|19||Clerebold Chan||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||-||-||0|