Norbert Michelisz heads first test in Saudi Arabia

2019 champion Norbert Michelisz headed the first FIA World Touring Car Cup test of the season finale weekend in Saudi Arabia, lapping the Jeddah Corniche Circuit in 1:16.853 to beat Nathanaël Berthon by 44 thousands of a second.

The session was halted once due to debris on track, resuming after a short break.

Title candidate Mikel Azcona was third fastest for Hyundai, 0.168 seconds from his BRC Racing Team team-mate.

Tom Coronel was fastest of the Comtoyou Racing Audi drivers with WTCR returnee Nicky Catsburg in fifth.

Franco Girolami put his Audi RS 3 LMS II in sixth position, three tenths from Michelisz, while Gilles Magnus was eighth, just 0.015 seconds slower.

Esteban Guerrieri was fastest of the Münnich Motorsport prepared Honda Civic Type R TCRs in eighth position. Viktor Davidovski and Attila Tassi rounded off the top ten.

Néstor Girolami, the only driver who theoretically can beat Azcona to the title, could only manage eleventh, 0.663 seconds from the top time.

Rob Huff, who returns for the season finale, was 13th while WTCR debutant Ahmed Khaled Binkhanen was 15th and last, 2.5 seconds from Michelisz’s time.