In a foggy morning Thed Björk and his Polestar Volvo C30 car created a surprise posting the two fastest laps in the first free practice session.
On his first lap out of the pits, the new Swedish Touring Car champion was clocked at 1:55.382, that he immediately improved to a 1:55.323 that was not to be beaten.
“It was a pretty good start. Of course, I was on new tyres, while most of the others were on used tyres. However, I think that this track suits our car that is especially quick on the straight,”
All the fastest laps were set in the early stages of the thirty-minute session, with Gabriele Tarquini second quickest in his Honda Civic (1:55.934) and the Nika Racing’s Chevrolet of Rickard Rydell third (1:55.977).
None of the other drivers was able to break the 1:55 wall. Yvan Muller ranked fourth (1:56.075) followed by Norbert Michelisz (1:56.132), Tom Coronel in the first BMW (1:56.150), Fredy Barth (1:56.178) the best of the Yokohama Trophy competitors, Tiago Monteiro (1:56.231) and James Thompson’s LADA (1:56.544).
Tom Chilton (1:56.574) completed the top ten, with Rob Huff 11th (1:56.636) in the first of the SEAT cars.
Pepe Oriola did not post any timed lap due to a power-steering failure, while Mehdi Bennani – who missed yesterday’s test session due to a supercharging problem – completed only a few laps because of a broken driveshaft.
Free Practice 2 is scheduled to start at 11.10 local time (4.10am CET) with the two-stage Qualifying session due to begin at 14.10.