Touring Cars - Belgium lay down first marker in Free Practice

Touring Cars - Belgium lay down first marker in Free Practice

Three-time FIA WTCR race winner Gilles Magnus took the hot seat for the Belgian entry, popping in the fastest time of the session at Circuit Paul Ricard in his Audi RS3 LMS after swapping the top spot with Team Ireland who were heading the way in the early minutes. 

The Irish charge, Jack Young, ended just 0.302s adrift of Team Belgium in his Honda Civic Type-R TCR car after a similarly strong showing, with 18 nations set to take part in the highly competitive event.

Third in the times would be another WTCR household name respresenting Team Netherlands, Tom Coronel, who briefly charged to the top of the sheet with a late effort, but a track limits infringement meant lap that would be chalked off.

Latvia made it three Audi RS3 machines inside the top four with their driver Valters Zviedris, with a Cupra rounding out the top five thanks to that of Team Switzerland’s entry driven by Gabriel Muller Agrelo Lusquinos. The Team Spain car of Isidro Callejas Gomez was looking a threat inside the top three before it too was hit by deleted times, while Team Venezuela showed their intentions with a top-six effort by the Audi of Sergio Lopez Bolotin.

Team UK’s Chris Smiley - fresh from title success in the TCR UK Series recently - bedded in his Honda Civic Type-R in 13th overall, times unrepresentative down the order ahead of tomorrow’s action.

Saturday features a second Free Practice session at 12:20, with Qualifying taking place later in the afternoon at 18:05.