WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Azcona sets Sepang pace
Mikel Azcona says his fastest time in Free Practice 2 at WTCR Race of Malaysia was the perfect way to hit back from a tough Macau weekend.
The Spaniard set a 2m14.989s best in the closing 10 minutes of the 30-minute session to out-gun WTCR / OSCARO title leader Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse) by 0.217s.
“I’m really, really happy because this is the last round of the season and we are showing to all the people that we are very strong to battle for the top position of the race,” said Azcona. “The car worked really good here in Malaysia. The conditions tricky for all the drivers but, at the moment, I am very happy with the car and the track I like. We hope to repeat this result in the qualifying. It’s not very easy because all the drivers go really fast so we cross the finger. Macau was the worst weekend for us so to finish the Free Practice 2 in the first position is the best for us.”
Michelisz’s team-mate Gabriele Tarquini was third quickest with Ma Qinghua a strong fourth for Team Mulsanne followed by Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch and Nicky Catsburg (BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team). Augusto Farfus was P7, Aurélien Panis P8, with Niels Langeveld and Tiago Monteiro completing the top 10. Néstor Girolami was P11, one place ahead of ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport team-mate Esteban Guerrieri, currently second in the title standings.
Of the Malaysian wildcards, MotoGP rider Hafizh Syahrin was P20, Mitchell Cheah P29 and Douglas Khoo P30. Cheah was fifth quickest in Free Practice 1 and explained his drop of position. “This session we were trying to get the right set-up for the race and I try to do a long run so we did not use new tyres for this. We still have a bit to work on for the race with the car for the right set-up but I think it’s not a bad start to prepare for the race now. After the first session this morning we had a positive run. The qualifying session is definitely going to be very tight but I will try to do my best and get the best out of it.”
First Qualifying is up next at 15h15 local time.