Tiago Monteiro posted the fastest time during a shakedown test prior to the first round of the season at Curitiba in Brazil. The session was due to last for an hour and a half but was stopped with 20 minutes remaining when rookie Aleksei Dudukalo crashed his SEAT heavily.
The Russian lost control of his Lukoil-SUNRED car on the exit of the Esse da Alta and crashed heavily into the barriers on the inside. This brought out the red flags and the session was not resumed. Dudukalo escaped unhurt but his car sustained heavy front-end damage.
“The accident was not as bad as it might seem,” he said afterwards. “The guys say they are not worried, everything is fine. We are now trying to repair the damaged suspension and bodyparts. If we have time we will do the second test. In the penultimate corner I lost the rear end, couldn’t hold it and crashed into the inside barrier head-on.”
Monteiro was surprisingly quickest in his SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI, which was not expected to be able to match the Chevrolet Cruze with the new 1.6 litre turbo. Alain Menu was the fastest of the Chevrolet drivers in second place, eight hundredths slower than Monteiro's best. Reigning champion Yvan Muller was third for Chevrolet.
Franz Engstler was the fastest Independent as well as the quickest BMW driver in his 320 TC. Rob Huff and Caca Bueno were fifth and sixth ensuring all four Cruze 1.6Ts were in the top six. Tom Coronel was seventh in his ROAL BMW, with Fredy Barth eighth for SUNRED. Dudukalo was ninth quickest before crashing, while Robert Dahlgren was tenth in the Polestar Volvo C30.
Both Gabriele Tarquini and Javier Villa failed to set a lap time as their cars received final adjustments. This is particularly unhelpful for Villa, who has not tested the BMW prior to the Curitiba weekend.
A second test session, this time just thirty minutes, will be held later on Friday, with two practice sessions set for Saturday morning.
Test Session 1:
|1||18||Tiago Monteiro||PRT||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:24.360||13|
|2||8||Alain Menu||CHE||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:24.440||+0.080||12|
|3||1||Yvan Muller||FRA||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:24.446||+0.086||15|
|4||12||Franz Engstler||DEU||BMW 320 TC||1:24.472||+0.112||21|
|5||2||Robert Huff||GBR||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:24.529||+0.169||15|
|6||6||Carlos Bueno||BRA||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:24.592||+0.232||17|
|7||15||Tom Coronel||NLD||BMW 320 TC||1:24.689||+0.329||22|
|8||7||Fredy Barth||CHE||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:24.899||+0.539||12|
|9||4||Aleksei Dudukalo||RUS||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:25.023||+0.663||18|
|10||30||Robert Dahlgren||SWE||Volvo C30||1:25.036||+0.676||21|
|11||74||Pepe Oriola||ESP||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:25.265||+0.905||19|
|12||11||Kristian Poulsen||DNK||BMW 320 TC||1:25.304||+0.944||15|
|13||17||Michel Nykjaer||DNK||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:25.688||+1.328||11|
|14||25||Mehdi Bennani||MAR||BMW 320 TC||1:26.304||+1.944||8|
|15||9||Darryl O’Young||HKG||Chevrolet Lacetti||1:27.071||+2.711||15|
|16||10||Yukinori Taniguchi||JPN||Chevrolet Lacetti||1:27.492||+3.132||14|
|17||21||Fabio Fabiani||ITA||BMW 320si||1:31.777||+7.417||16|
|18||65||Marchy Lee||HKG||BMW 320 TC||1:32.219||+7.859||4|
|19||3||Gabriele Tarquini||ITA||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||No time||–|
|20||20||Javier Villa||ESP||BMW 320 TC||No time||–|