Mattias Ekström heads Jean-Karl Vernay in first Vallelunga practice

Cupra driver Mattias Ekström headed the first ever official PURE ETCR free practice session of the season opener at Vallelunga, with Hyundai driver Jean-Karl Vernay a close second.

Ekström lapped the Italian circuit in 1:21.743 and was one tenth faster than Vernay.

Romeo Ferraris driver Stefano Coletti was third fastest, but over 1.5 seconds from Ekström’s best time.

Coletti’s team-mate Oliver Webb was fourth fastest ahead of Cupra driver Daniel Nagy, 1.8 and 2.3 seconds behind respectively.

Tom Chilton was sixth and last of the first group but did not set a competitive lap time during the session.

The second practice session of the Vallelunga weekend starts at 16:30 CEST, featuring the second group of drivers.