Honda Posts Top Time in Friday Practice at FIA WTCC in Sonoma
Chevrolet may have swept the weekend during the FIA World Touring Car Championship's (WTCC) first visit to Sonoma Raceway last year, but a Honda Civic posted the fastest time in the series' first practice session on Friday.
In Friday's test session, the Castrol Honda Team's car of Tiago Monteiro set a best lap time of 1:46.300, ahead of the SEAT León of the reigning World Champion Rob Huff (1:46.432) and Pepe Oriola in the quickest Chevrolet Cruze (1:46.691).
The thirty-minute session saw all three of the Honda cars top the timesheets, with Monteiro's teammate Gabriele Tarquini the early pacesetter. Norbert Michelisz in the Zengö Motorsport Civic set the fastest time with around eight minutes of the session remaining before Tarquini, then Tom Chilton in the RML Chevrolet and finally Monterio set the best lap.
Yvan Muller, current point leader in the championship, posted the seventh fastest lap (1:46.936), just behind Tom Coronel who emerged as the best of the BMW drivers (1:46.900).
Proteam Racing's Mehdi Bennani topped the Yokohama Trophy field with a lap of 1:47.269 that was worth the ninth position overall.
Incidents included the LADA Granta of James Thompson limping back to the pits with a loose front wheel caused by a suspension problem, while Charles Ng spun at Turn 3 and both Darryl O'Young and Fernando Monje went out-and-back at Turn 6.
Action returns on Saturday with FIA WTCC practice at 11 a.m. and qualifying at 2 p.m. There will also be main events in the Porsche GT3 Porsche Cup Series and U.S. Touring Car Championship. Tickets are available at the gate on Saturday for $25; children 12 and under are free and parking is free.