Yvan Muller leads RML 1-2 in final practice in Russia

Championship leader Yvan Muller set the fastest time in the second free practice session at the Moscow Raceway ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying session as the World Touring Car Championship visits Russia for the first time.

The LUKOIL backed driver set his best time almost 20 minutes into the session, going faster than Michel Nykjaer in the identical Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T run by Nika Racing, who had held the spot until then.

Following close behind on track, Muller’s RML team-mate Tom Chilton went second fastest with a time just 42 thousandths of a second slower.

The session was generally uneventful, with a few slides at the tricky 15 corner circuit most notably for Stefano D’Aste, Norbert Michelisz and reigning champion Rob Huff.

Huff was the best placed SEAT driver in fourth with his Münnich Motorsport team-mate Marc Basseng also putting on a strong showing with the sixth fastest time.

FP1 pace setter Tom Coronel could only manage fifth in his ROAL BMW 320 TC this time, whilst Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest of the Honda drivers in ninth. Tarquini’s team-mate Tiago Monteiro missed much of the last part of the session due to engine problems with his Civic Super 2000 TC.

James Thompson was the fastest Lada driver, this time just inside the top ten with the tenth fastest time, just within a second of Muller’s time.

Of the local drivers, Nikolay Karamyshev, the reigning (and final) European Touring Car Cup Super Production class champion was 18th in his SEAT with Lada’s Mikhail Kozlovskiy 21st.

Qualifying gets underway at 14:30 local time (12:30 CET).