Oriola And Menu Top Practice As WTCC Hits Slovakia

by Peter Allen
Pepe Oriola - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Oriola posted the fastest time in free practice - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

The World Touring Car Championship races in Slovakia for the first ever time this weekend, with Pepe Oriola and Alain Menu topping the two Saturday free practice sessions ahead of qualifying.

Teenager Oriola was the man to beat in the opening session, edging out his considerably more experienced fellow SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini by nearly two tenths of a second around the modern Slovakiaring facility.

James Nash was a strong third in his Team Aon Ford Focus, four tenths off the pace, while fellow Brit Rob Huff was the best of the Chevrolet trio in fourth, eighth tenths away from Oriola.

Alain Menu edged out Tarquini's teammate Aleksei Dudukalo for fifth, with championship leader Yvan Muller down in seventh and 1.482s adrift of first place.

Tom Coronel was the best of the BMWs ahead of Franz Engstler, while Tiago Monteiro was tenth.

The second session saw Chevrolet move ahead, with Menu setting the pace. His time was four tenths slower than Oriola's morning benchmark however. Muller was second, the best part of half a second behind his Swiss teammate.

Nash was again third fastest, ahead of Oriola, Coronel and Dudukalo. Huff was seventh, with Norbert Michelisz, Monteiro and Tarquini completing the top ten. Tarquini ended the session in the gravel trap.

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