Photo: WTCC Media

Muller quickest in red flag interrupted FP2

Yvan Muller again showed the way in the second free practice session in Valencia, in a session which was red flagged early on after a heavy crash for Proteam’s Fabio Fabiani.

Muller’s best lap wasn’t faster than his time from the first session, but was almost a second faster this time than his Chevrolet team-mates Alain Menu and Rob Huff.

The slippery conditions continued to catch many cars out, particularly at the first corner, though Mehdi Bennani managed to slide his Proteam-run BMW 320 TC into the gravel at Turn 14 on his first flying lap and missed the rest of the session.

10 minutes in, Fabio Fabiani in the normally aspirated BMW 320si crashed out at the first corner, damaging both the car and the barrier. The session was stopped for around 20 minutes as the barrier was repaired and the car recovered.

The delay was beneficial to Michel Nykjaer, who had missed the start of the session as the SUNRED mechanics were working fast on his León’s engine. The Dane went on to set the 17th fastest time, 2.9s down on Muller.

Darryl O’Young, who had missed the first session due to a fuel pump problem, completed 14 laps in FP2, but was only 16th fastest.

There was further trouble in this session for Volvo Polestar Racing’s Robert Dahlgren. The Swedish driver had missed most of the first session after spinning off early on. In free practice two, he only managed a few laps before heading to the pits, with the mechanics continuing to work on the car until the time ran out.

Mehdi Bennani had attempted to rejoin the circuit after the red flag stoppage, but was prevented to by the officials as his car had received outside assistance.

Tiago Monteiro was the best of the rest after the Chevrolets, just ahead of SUNRED Engineering team-mate Pepe Oriola, who was the fastest classified independent in fifth overall.

Stefano D’Aste was down in 19th, two-tenths slower than WTCC newcomer Engstler Motorsport’s David Sigacev, who’d stopped out on the circuit with two minutes to go. D’Aste has also been the first driver to receive a fine from the stewards this weekend, 1,500 EUR after being deemed to have ignored the yellow flags in FP1.

Qualifying takes place at 14:30 CET.