Gabriele Tarquini showed strong pace in the SEAT Leon TDI by setting the quickest time in the Friday test session at Zolder ahead of the Race of Belgium.
The Lukoil-SUNRED-entered former world champion took the top spot from standings leader Rob Huff of Chevrolet towards the end of the session. The Briton would end the session third, just behind teammate Alain Menu. The Swiss driver lost out to Tarquini by just .39 of a second.
Tom Coronel was the top BMW driver in fourth, with Yvan Muller fifth in the third Chevrolet. Michel Nykjaer was the top Yokohama Trophy runner in sixth place.
The session was disrupted by a red flag in the middle of the session when Tarquini's teammate Aleksei Dudukalo hit the tyre wall at the Villeneuve chicane. In the final moments of the session Marchy Lee stopped his BMW at Turn 2, bringing out the red flags and an early end to the session.
Racing with the Chevrolet Cruze 1.6 turbo for the first time, Bamboo Engineering's drivers Darryl O'Young and Yukinori Taniguchi finished the session in ninth and 19th respectively.
Norbert Michelisz, making his first appearance of the season finished his first ever session in a BMW in 16th place. Newcomer Urs Sonderegger was 20th of the 21 cars in his turbocharged Wiechers-Sport BMW, beating only the normally aspirated BMW of Fabio Fabiani which was nearly seven seconds off the pace.
The teams and drivers will get the opportunity to perfect their set-ups in the two free practice sessions on Saturday morning.
|1||Gabriele Tarquini||ITA||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:39.726||12|
|2||Alain Menu||CHE||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:39.765||0.039||11|
|3||Robert Huff||GBR||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:40.050||0.324||8|
|4||Tom Coronel||NLD||ROAL||BMW 320 TC||1:40.132||0.406||11|
|5||Yvan Muller||FRA||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:40.308||0.582||11|
|6||Y||Michel Nykjaer||DNK||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:40.520||0.794||11|
|7||Y||Fredy Barth||CHE||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:40.694||0.968||11|
|8||Y||Kristian Poulsen||DNK||Engstler||BMW 320 TC||1:40.700||0.974||14|
|9||Y||Darryl O’Young||HKG||Bamboo||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:40.951||1.225||13|
|10||Robert Dahlgren||SWE||Polestar||Volvo C30||1:41.018||1.292||9|
|11||Y||Mehdi Bennani||MAR||Proteam||BMW 320 TC||1:41.041||1.315||15|
|12||Y||Franz Engstler||DEU||Engstler||BMW 320 TC||1:41.051||1.325||10|
|13||Y||Javier Villa||ESP||Proteam||BMW 320 TC||1:41.165||1.439||15|
|14||Y||Pepe Oriola||ESP||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:41.224||1.498||10|
|15||Tiago Monteiro||PRT||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:41.308||1.582||11|
|16||Y||Norbert Michelisz||HUN||Zengo||BMW 320 TC||1:41.313||1.587||14|
|17||Y||Marchy Lee||HKG||KK||BMW 320 TC||1:41.756||2.030||12|
|18||Y||Aleksei Dudukalo||RUS||SUNRED||SEAT Leon 2.0 TDI||1:42.806||3.080||7|
|19||Y||Yukinori Taniguchi||JPN||Bamboo||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||1:43.752||4.026||12|
|20||Y||Urs Sonderegger||CHE||Wiechers||BMW 320 TC||1:44.932||5.206||13|
|21||Y||Fabio Fabiani||ITA||Proteam||BMW 320si||1:46.609||6.883||13|