WTCR Race of China Free Practice 1 flash: Home hero Ma fastest
China’s Ma Qinghua has begun his home round of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup presented by OSCARO in style with the fastest time in Free Practice 1.
Driving a Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR, Ma clocked a 1m51.419s best with Néstor Girolami second and title leader Esteban Guerrieri third in a second ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Honda Civic Type R TCR.
“First of all I am really happy to be back in China to race,” said Ma. “This is the half-season round and we approach the Asia season. I am very happy about the FP1. There are still a lot of things to work on after two months of the summer break. For sure we need to carry on the work tonight and tomorrow we will improve the performance.”
Nicky Catsburg was fourth, one place ahead of fellow BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team driver Augusto Farfus, the best of the Ningbo rookies.
Rob Huff was sixth for SLR VW Motorsport as Mikel Azcona bagged the seventh fastest time in a PWR Racing CUPRA. Aurelién Panis was eighth for Comtoyou DHL Team CUPRA Racing, as Frédéric Vervisch (Comtoyou Team Audi Sport) and Benjamin Leuchter (SLR Volkswagen) completed the top 10.
Yvan Muller was the fastest of the Lynk & Co quartet in P12, one position behind Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse). Gabriele Tarquini, Mehdi Bennani and Jean-Karl Vernay rounded out the top 15, as Daniel Haglöf overcame a grassy moment to place P17 behind Andy Priaulx, but one place ahead of fellow Swede Thed Björk.
Free Practice 1 is up next at WTCR Race of China with the 30-minute session due to begin at 09h00.