Yvan Muller leads RML 1-2 in Termas de Río Hondo first practice

RML Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller was fastest of all in the first free practice session on Saturday at a cool Termas de Río Hondo circuit, followed by RML team-mate Tom Chilton and the Honda of Tiago Monteiro.

The session was briefly red flagged due to technical issue which cut off all the timing and video feeds around the circuit just as the green flag was waved.

When the session resumed, Yvan Muller was quick to set a benchmark time of 1:49.901, the only driver in the 1:49s until half way through the session, Lopez set a threatening time in the BMW 320 TC of 1:49.906, just five-thousandths slower than Muller’s time.

The RML driver though improved his time further with just under ten minutes to go, going over eight tenths faster with a time of 1:49.096, within reach of the 1:4 mark whilst third placed Norbert Michelisz was almost a second adrift in his Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic.

Tiago Monteiro then found more time in his Honda, fitted with a new engine overnight to go second fastest, before Muller’s team-mate Tom Chilton also improved with just under a minute to go to be second quickest again, with RML occupying the top two spots for the second consecutive session.

Lopez ended the session fourth fastest with Michelisz fifth, and James Thompson’s Lada also on the pace setting the sixth fastest time ahead of the third Honda of Gabriele TArquini.

Hugo Valente was the second fastest independent driver (with Lopez the fastest), in eighth position and the top SEAT for Campos Racing, just ahead of Rob Huff’s Münnich Motorsport SEAT with bamboo-engineering’s Alex MacDowall completing the top ten.

There were no notable incidents during the session, although Stefano D’Aste was given a warning for exceeding the track limits at Turn 10 in his PB Racing BMW.

The next session is Free Practice 2 which takes place at 12:00 ART.