WTCR Free Practice 1 flash: Urrutia heads Ehrlacher in Aragon
Santiago Urrutia set the pace in the first free practice session as WTCR Race of Aragón finally kicked off after a long fog delay at MotorLand Aragón.
The Cyan Performance Lynk & Co racer was among a flurry of drivers to set their best laps late in the 45-minute session. The Uruguayan’s Goodyear-equipped Lynk & Co 03 TCR ended up on top of the times with a lap of 2m14.148s, just 0.037s ahead of Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Yann Ehrlacher.
“It was quite difficult conditions at the beginning, then the track was getting better and better,” said Urrutia, the TAG Heuer Most Valuable driver at WTCR Race of Spain earlier this month. “Plus we thought it will be very, very tight so we really had to put the lap together. We don’t have a lot of time to look at the data and videos [before Free Practice 2] but we have a few things to do on the car to see if we can improve,. But, to be honest, it’s really good, Yann is P2, Yvan is also close to the top and all Cyan cars are in the top 10 , which was the goal for us. I’m looking forward to FP2 to see if we can improve a little bit and to have the best car for qualifying.”
Like Ehrlacher, Jean-Karl Vernay set his best time on his last lap in his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris to jump up to third. He headed home hero Mikel Azcona’s Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición and Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing Lynk & Co) in fifth. Thed Björk ensured four Lynk & Cos filled the top six places.
Nathanaël Berthon was seventh in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS and Attila Tassi was the first of the ALL-INKL.DE Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCRs in eighth. King of WTCR Norbert Michelisz was next in his BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR, with Tassi’s team-mate Tiago Monteiro completing the top 10.
WTCR Rookie Driver award winner Gilles Magnus was P11 in his Comtoyou Racing Audi, ahead of Néstor Girolami’s Honda, the Hyundais of Luca Engstler and Gabriele Tarquini and Bence Boldizs’s CUPRA.
Esteban Guerrieri, the closest challenger in the WTCR points to Ehrlacher, endured a difficult start to the weekend and was only in P16. “It wasn’t a very good session for us, obviously,” he said. “We still have some work to do. My last lap wasn’t clear either.”
Aurélien Comte was P17 in his Vuković Motorsport Renault Mégane RS TCR ahead of wildcard Luca Filippi, who recovered from sliding off into a gravel trap early in the session in his Alfa Romeo. WTCR returnee Mitchell Cheah (Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team) and Argentine wildcard José Manuel Sapag in his Target srl Hyundai were P19 and P20 respectively, the latter needing a new right-front wing after hitting a tyre stack.
Free practice 2 at WTCR Race of Aragón takes place at 13h30 local time.