WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Azcona and Panis on top
Mikel Azcona headed fellow CUPRA TCR driver Aurélien Panis to top free practice 2 at WTCR Race of China at the Ningbo International Speedpark on Saturday morning.
PWR Racing’s Azcona set his impressive time of 1m50.715s in the final moments of the session to go 0.436s quicker than Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing’s Panis. The pair knocked home-race hero and free practice 1 pacesetter Ma Qinghua from the top spot in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR.
“It’s good to start the day first,” said Azcona, who scored his first WTCR OSCARO race victory at the previous round at Vila Real. “It’s my first time at Ningbo. It’s a difficult track, the second most difficult behind the Nürburgring. I have to keep improving because it can all change a lot.”
Behind the top three, #ROADTOMALAYSIA title challenger Norbert Michelisz was next in his BRC Hyundai N Squadra i30 N TCR, ahead of Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch, who had set the pace early on in his RS 3 LMS.
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Néstor Girolami completed the top six in his Honda Civic Type R TCR, ahead of SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson and WTCR OSCARO points leader Esteban Guerrieri.
Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Thed Björk and team-mate Andy Priaulx were next to make it seven car racing brands in the top 10. Fellow Lynk & Co driver Yann Ehrlacher was next, despite suffering a right-front puncture early in the 30-minute session.
The first qualifying session of WTCR Race of China takes place at 11h00 local time.