WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Ehrlacher leaves it late to jump to the top of the Vila Real times

2022-07-02T14:31:53+02:00July 2nd, 2022|2022, WTCR Race of Portugal 2022|

Yann Ehrlacher put in a late flying lap to top the second free practice session at WTCR Race of Portugal, the last opportunity for the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup drivers to make their final preparations for qualifying on the Vila Real street track.

King of WTCR Ehrlacher stormed to a time of 1m59.300s around the 4.790-kilometre circuit to demote Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Mikel Azcona to second. The Spaniard was 0.556s slower in his BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Elantra N TCR, as the Lynk & Cos took five of the top six places in the times.

“It was a good practice, it’s nice to be back on these streets,” said Ehrlacher. “As you can see it’s quite demanding for the drivers because you need to be close to the walls. I explored a little bit the limits in FP1, but we have done a lot of work between then and now. It’s only free practice, but it’s a good start for the weekend. Compared to the other teams maybe we are getting into shape a bit quicker and earlier in the weekend, but for sure they will come back in qualifying. For sure, it is not the moment to fall asleep for us and we’ll keep working.”

Behind Azcona, Santiago Urrutia – fastest in the first session – was third, ahead of fellow Cyan Performance Lynk & Co driver Ma Qing Hua. Yvan Muller and Thed Björk were fifth and sixth.

Néstor Girolami was seventh fastest in his ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR, with Zengő Motorsport’s Rob Huff next up in his CUPRA Leon Competición. Esteban Guerrieri’s Honda was ninth, while Mehdi Bennani was the fastest of the Audi RS3 LMS entries for Comtoyou Team Audi Sport in P10.

Home hero Tiago Monteiro was in P11 for LIQUI MOLY Team Engstler, ahead of Nathanaël Berthon (Audi) and BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse’s Norbert Michelisz. The Hungarian clouted a barrier towards the end of the 30-minute session and sustained a broken front-right rim and wheel damage to his Elantra.

Tom Coronel was also in the wars at the end when he hit a tyre stack at the chicane in his Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport entry. He ended up in P15, behind Attila Tassi (Honda) and ahead of Dániel Nagy (Cupra) and Gilles Magnus (Audi).

Qualifying at WTCR Race of Portugal is due to begin at 17h05 local time.