The Italian appeared comfortably quickest after hitting the top of the timesheets midway through the half-hour session, and repeatedly improved on his times to end up over 0.6s clear of Andy Priaulx’s RBM BMW in second place.
By dint of some aggressive kerb-hopping through the chicanes, Tiago Monteiro managed to haul his SEAT León to third-quickest overall, followed by Augusto Farfus and the repaired Chevrolet Cruze of Alain Menu.
Yesterday’s test session pacesetter Norbert Michelisz landed up eighth-fastest, while Franz Engstler led the Independents’ charge and was an impressive seventh-quickest overall.
Worryingly, 2008 World Champion Yvan Muller was the slowest of the manufacturer runners in thirteenth place overall.
The session was relatively incident-free, although Mehdi Bennani made an embarrassing exit from the session in front of his home crowd, after hitting the Turn 4 barriers on his first flying lap.
Darryl O’Young suffered a similar fate, slapping the barriers and only rejoining late in the session.
2010 WTCC Round 2 Marrakech 1st Practice Session Times:
|1.||Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport SEAT||1:46.975||13|
|2.||Andy Priaulx||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 0.614||12|
|3.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport SEAT||+ 0.688||13|
|4.||Augusto Farfus||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 0.911||13|
|5.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 0.919||10|
|6.||Tom Coronel||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 1.016||13|
|7.||Franz Engstler (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 1.059||12|
|8.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI||+ 1.080||7|
|9.||Jordi Gené||SR Sport SEAT||+ 1.095||11|
|10.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 1.098||10|
|11.||Michel Nykjær||SUNRED SEAT||+ 1.346||10|
|12.||Fredy Barth||SUNRED SEAT||+ 1.983||11|
|13.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 2.038||8|
|14.||Stefano D’Aste (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 2.604||11|
|15.||Sergio Hernández (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 3.398||7|
|16.||Harry Vaulkhard (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 3.829||11|
|17.||Andrei Romanov (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 5.529||14|
|18.||Ismaïl Sbaï (I)||Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 6.140||11|
|19.||Darryl O’Young (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 21.715||3|
|20.||Mehdi Bennani (I)||Wiechers Sport BMW 320si||no time||1|
|NP.||Youssaf El Marnissi (I)||Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti|
|NP.||Larbi Tadlaoui (I)||Morocco Chevrolet Lacetti|
[Images via the FIA WTCC official website]