Norbert Michelisz tops Macau testing

Norbert Michelisz led the WTCC field in the test session for the Macau season finale. The Honda driver was ahead of Citroën’s Yvan Muller and his team-mate, 2014 World Champion José María López.

The gaps were quite tight, especially at the front, where Michelisz lapped the track in 2:27.708, just over 2 tenths quicker than Muller, with rookie López still within a second off the pace at +0.8s.

Honda confirmed their strong form with Mehdi Bennani in fourth ahead of Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb. Tiago Monteiro came sixth in the first works Honda Civic, while Pepe Oriola surprisingly emerged as the fastest Chevrolet driver, taking his Campos Racing Cruze to seventh on his first outing in a TC1 car.

Oriola led a long train of fellow Chevrolet drivers, with Tom Chilton in eighth ahead of Hugo Valente and Tom Coronel. Citroën driver Ma Qing Hua finished eleventh ahead of Macau specialist Rob Huff in the quickest Lada.

Amazingly there were no incidents on the unforgiving Guia circuit, with Sébastien Loeb the only driver having brake troubles before his team could cool them down and allow the Frenchman back on track.

After an unusually early test session, with a revised timetable in place for this weekend, the action will resume later today at 13.55 local time for Free Practice 1.