WTCR Free Practice 2 flash: Magnus and Berthon remain on top
Gilles Magnus and Nathanaël Berthon continued to set the pace at WTCR Race of Spain after topping the second free practice session at MotorLand Aragón.
Gabriele Tarquini, Yann Ehrlacher and Berthon all headed the way during the 30-minute session, until WTCR Rookie Award contender Magnus jumped to the top with seven minutes to go. Driving a Comtoyou Racing Audi RS 3 LMS, the RACB National Team member lapped in 2m05.724s to head team-mate Berthon by 0.301s.
Goodyear #FollowTheLeader Ehrlacher ended up third fastest, but both Berthon and the Cyan Racing driver have suffered setbacks following engine changes – which means they will start Race 1 from the back of the grid.
“We had to change the engine because there was a cylinder that was not in good shape,” said Ehrlacher. “At this stage, it was too much of a risk. It means a grid penalty, but that is how it is. I have a bit of a margin in the championship, so it is up to me to make it up in Race 2 and Race 3. Our pace is not bad.”
Tarquini was fourth fastest, ahead of Tom Coronel (Comtoyou DHL Team Audi Sport) and local hero Mikel Azcona (Zengő Motorsport CUPRA Leon Competición). Yvan Muller was seventh fastest in his Cyan Racing Lynk & Co 03 TCR.
Next up was WTCR Trophy leader Jean-Karl Vernay. But the Frenchman brought the session to an early close when the front-left wheel became detached from his Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR by Romeo Ferraris in the final minutes.
Luca Engstler was ninth fastest in his Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team Hyundai i30 N TCR, while Santiago Urrutia (Lynk & Co) rounded out the top 10.
WTCR title contender Esteban Guerrieri was the quickest of the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCRs in P12, while his team-mate Néstor Girolami was P14.
Josh Files continued to adapt to the WTCR in his series debut for Engstler Hyundai N Liqui Moly Racing Team in P18, while wildcard Nicolas Baert at least managed to set a time in this session in his Comtoyou Racing Audi. He was classified in P20.
Qualifying for WTCR Race of Spain takes place from 13h15 local time.