Photo: TCR Media

Pepe Oriola tops Valencia Free Practice 2

Pepe Oriola dominated the second Free Practice session for Craft Bamboo Lukoil at his home race in Valencia, Spain. Bas Schouten improved his lap time in the closing stages, putting his Bas Koeten Racing SEAT León Racer in second, with Stefano Comini in third for Target Competition.

The session was red flagged in its early stages when Franz Engstler spun his Audi TT, beaching it in the gravel but with no major damages. The German made full use of the 30 kilos weight break allowed for Audi, finishing fourth ahead of Target Competition’s Andrea Belicchi, although Engstler did not complete more than six laps.

Belicchi was the leader of a group of some five cars separated by just one tenth. Sergey Afanasyev came home sixth ahead of Craft Bamboo Lukoil team-mate Jordi Gené, as the Spaniard elected to complete only seven laps in order to save tyres. Gianni Morbidelli placed himself in eighth for WestCoast Racing after a last-gasp improvement right under the chequered flag, finishing less than one tenth ahead of team-mate Kevin Gleason. Lorenzo Veglia completed the top ten.

As said before the session was red-flagged after Engstler beached his Audi in the gravel at the S, but more drama came when Oscar Nogués’ car suffered from what is very likely to be an engine damage, as the Opel Astra OPC blew a large puff of smoke in the pit lane.

Next up for the TCR International Series is Qualifying, which starts at 15:00 local time.