WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Berthon hits the top
Nathanaël Berthon was fastest in the second free practice session at WTCR Race of Spain to head local hero Mikel Azcona at a boiling hot MotorLand Aragón.
Berthon topped the times for most of the 30-minute session in his Goodyear-equipped Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport Audi RS 3 LMS, but lowered his mark on his last lap to a time of 2m06.181s around the 5.345-kilometre circuit. King of WTCR Yann Ehrlacher was also a late improver and jumped up to second for Cyan Racing Lynk & Co, only for Azcona to demote him in a Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición. The Spaniard was just 0.166s slower than Berthon.
“We are in the game finally, thanks to the guys for doing such a great job,” said Berthon. “The compensation weight for the others who have won has helped a lot. Also we’ve been testing here a lot this year and we have maximised the set-up. You can see the improvement. I hope we can keep this position, but it won’t be easy.”
Behind Azcona and Ehrlacher, Thed Björk was fourth fastest in his Cyan Performance Lynk & Co Lynk & Co 03 TCR, ahead of Norbert Michelisz’s BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse Hyundai Elantra N TCR.
FIA WTCR Junior Driver Title contender Luca Engstler was sixth fastest in his Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team entry, while Gilles Magnus was seventh for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport. Santiago Urrutia was next in his Lynk & Co, ahead of Rob Huff’s Zengő Motorsport CUPRA and Yvan Muller, who rounded out the top 10.
Gabriele Tarquini was in P11, just ahead of Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Jean-Karl Vernay and Free Practice 1 pacesetter Tom Coronel, who had recovered from his electrical problems at the that end of the morning session.
Local hero Jordi Gené was P14 for Zengő Motorsport Drivers’ Academy, ahead of Frédéric Vervisch and the first of the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCRs driven by Néstor Girolami. Team-mates Esteban Guerrieri, Attila Tassi and Tiago Monteiro were right behind Girolami in P17, P18 and P19 respectively.
Qualifying at WTCR Race of Spain is due to start at 16h30 local time.