Gabriele Tarquini on top in Free Practice 1 in Motegi

Castrol Honda Racing’s Gabriele Tarquini led the second session of the weekend at Twin Ring Motegi in his Honda Civic WTCC, leading Zengő Motorsport Honda driver Norbert Michelisz by over half a second, with Sébastien Loeb third fastest for Citroën Racing.

Tarquini set the first target of 1:57.353 early in the session, bettering his timing following a brief timing glitch to a time of 1:57.127 to finish the session on top, again ahead of Michelisz, while it was Loeb who was now third fastest for Citroën, with José María López having been the interloper yesterday for the French manufacturer.

The session was uneventful after this point, with no improvement in times for any drivers and no offs or excursions.

Tiago Monteiro was again fourth for Honda, with Loeb preventing the Japanese manufacturer from locking out the top three positions at their home circuit. Yvan Muller was fifth fastest for Citroën, with Mehdi Bennani sixth quickest in the Sébastien Loeb Racing-run Citroën C-Elysée.

Championship leader José María López was eighth quickest, with Rob Huff the best placed Lada in ninth ahead of team-mate Nicky Catsburg, while Lada’s new driver Nicolas Lapierre 16th fastest.

The top placed Chevrolet was Hugo Valente in 11th for Campos Racing, with the Cruzes again filling up six of the last seven positions in practice for the second consecutive session.

Free Practice 2 is scheduled for 12:00 JST.