Yvan Muller tops first practice session of 2013

Yvan Muller was fastest of all in the first free practice session of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship at Monza, with three marques represented in the top three positions.

The two Hondas had it their own way at the start of the session, with Gabriele Tarquini throwing down the first gauntlet. The RML Chevrolets however didn’t show there hand till after the first ten minutes, with Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton going first and second fastest with times in the 1:58s.

A few drivers made mistakes at the Della Roggia and skipped the corner, but the worst off was Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Charles Ng, who caused significant front-end damage to the BMW 320 TC spinning out and hitting the barrier. He was able to return to the pits.

The Lada Granta of James Thompson also showed good pace, threatening the front running Hondas and Chevrolets. Thompson eventually wound up seventh, 1.2 seconds behind Muller’s fastest time.

Muller set a late flyer of 1:58.078, seven-tenths of a second faster than Tiago Monteiro’s best time to end up fastest. Monteiro improved and set a time of 1:57.752, but the time was later deleted as he was judged to have cut the Della Roggia chicane.

Pepe Oriola was the third fastest driver and the best placed of the SEATs, just 0.001 behind Monteiro, with RML’s new driver Tom Chilton in fourth, just 0.021 behind Oriola.

The fastest independent driver was bamboo-engineering’s Alex MacDowall in sixth.

The next session is at 11:45 CET.