Despite an early collision with Sergio Hernández, Norbert Michelisz has headed the free test session at the Marrakech street circuit, as the long-awaited second round of the World Touring Car Championship season got underway in earnest.

Marrakech MicheliszThe Hungarian – who had a strong weekend at Curitiba in the season’s opening round – succeeded to eclipsing the quickest time set by Tom Coronel in the final five minutes of the session.

Michelisz and Hernández came together at Turn 15, although both drivers seemed able to rejoin without damage.

Coronel looked set to head the timesheets, and indeed was quickest for much of the 30-minute session, which was interrupted by a red flag when local driver Ismail Marrakech Menu Sbaï’s Chevrolet Lacetti slapped the wall at Turn 8. Indeed, it was a difficult maiden outing for the local Moroccan team, with Youssaf El Marnissi also stopping on-track and Larbi Tadlaoui failing to participate in the session at all.

Another driver to come to grief was Alain Menu (pictured right), who damaged the right-rear corner of his Chevrolet Cruze after crashing at the second chicane.

Several drivers were cautioned by the stewards for excessive cutting of the chicanes as they tried to explore the limits of their cars in the oppressive North African heat.

 

2010 WTCC Round 2 Marrakech Test Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI 1:49.347 13
2. Tom Coronel NED SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 0.099 10
3. Robert Huff RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 0.158 12
4. Augusto Farfus RBM Team BMW 320si + 0.178 14
5. Jordi Gené SR Sport SEAT + 0.387 10
6. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 0.538 10
7. Gabriele Tarquini SR Sport SEAT + 0.602 13
8. Alain Menu RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 1.074 10
9. Andy Priaulx RBM Team BMW 320si + 1.273 14
10. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT + 1.423 11
11. Franz Engstler (I) Team Engstler BMW 320si + 1.533 11
12. Tiago Monteiro POR SR Sport SEAT + 1.711 9
13. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SEAT + 2.003 8
14. Sergio Hernández (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 2.731 10
15. Stefano D’Aste (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 2.785 12
16. Mehdi Bennani (I) MOR Wiechers Sport BMW 320si + 2.994 15
17. Darryl O’Young (I) CHN Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 4.625 12
18. Harry Vaulkhard (I) Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 5.133 8
19. Youssaf El Marnissi (I) MOR Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti + 6.693 7
20. Andrei Romanov (I) Team Engstler BMW 320si + 7.502 14
21. Ismaïl Sbaï (I) MOR Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti + 24.264 3
NP. Larbi Tadlaoui MOR Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti no time  

[Images via the FIA WTCC official website]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.
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