Tiago Monteiro sets the pace in Beijing FP2

Tiago Monteiro took another last gasp lap to lead the final practice session ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying. The Castrol Honda World Touring Car Team driver demoted Ma Qing Hua from the lead at the last minute, leaving the Citroën in second ahead of James Thompson, who was third in his Lada Granta, ensuring all three factory teams had a spot in the top three.

The Brit was involved in a red flag incident earlier on, after he spun his Lada in the second sector, with Tom Coronel taking avoiding action in his ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet, who remained stuck in the gravel as he tried – successfully – to avoid the slow moving Granta.

Fourth place was taken by another Lada, with fellow countryman Rob Huff just 0.004s slower than Thompson. Gianni Morbidelli emerged as the fastest Chevrolet driver, coming home fifth ahead of Yvan Muller’s Citroën. The Frenchman led his team-mates, with Sébastien Loeb just ahead of José María López, with Tom Chilton’s Chevrolet and Gabriele Tarquini’s Honda Civic rounding out the top ten.

The session was stopped two minutes earlier than scheduled due to the poor visibility, as the night started to fall on the Goldenport Park track. The gaps emerged as being extremely tight, with just eight tenths between the leader and 11th-placed Dusan Borkovic.

Qualifying will be held at 8.30 CST on Sunday.