Augusto Farfus has topped the timesheets in the opening practice session for the World Touring Car Championship event at Okayama, but the big surprise came in the Farfus went quickest in the opening practice session at Okayamaform of second-placed Robert Dahlgren, who initially headed the order in his Volvo C30.

The Scandinavian Touring Car Champion was the first driver to post a lap time on a continually drying circuit doused by overnight rain, and it was that lap – eventually 0.520 seconds down on Farfus’ best time – that put him second-quickest at the end of the session.

Completing the top five were Alain Menu, his Chevrolet team-mate Robert Huff (who only ventured onto the circuit with eight minutes of the session to run) and Norbert Michelisz.

Championship leader Yvan Muller finished up sixth-quickest, just ahead of fellow championship rival Andy Priaulx, while Gabriele Tarquini – the other title contender – was only eleventh-quickest in his SR Sport SEAT.

Dahlgren went an impressive second-quickest in FP1 Tiago Monteiro was actually quickest of the SR Sport runners in eighth place, ahead of series returnee Colin Turkington in his BMW. Tom Coronel completed the top ten.

Kristian Poulsen – the Independent Trophy race-winner of five of the last six races – was twelfth-quickest overall in the session and fastest in his championship category.

Further down the order saw several incidents, with Macau-based driver Henry Ho spinning into the gravel and the Williams corner, and the session was red-flagged completely when Masataka Yanagida brought his Wiechers Sport BMW to a halt with smoke billowing from the engine bay.

Yanagida’s team-mate Mehdi Bennani failed to post a time after stopping out on the circuit during his out-lap from the pits.


2010 WTCC Okayama 1st Practice Session Times:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Augusto Farfus RBM Team BMW 320si 1:38.085 10
2. Robert Dahlgren SWE Olsbergs Green Racing Volvo C30 + 0.520 11
3. Alain Menu RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 0.527 8
4. Robert Huff RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 0.674 4
5. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI + 0.676 8
6. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 0.731 8
7. Andy Priaulx RBM Team BMW 320si + 0.776 9
8. Tiago Monteiro POR SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 0.784 7
9. Colin Turkington AVIVA-COFCO WSR BMW 320si + 0.833 10
10. Tom Coronel NED SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 0.852 4
11. Gabriele Tarquini SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 0.881 8
12. Kristian Poulsen (I) DEN Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si + 0.896 13
13. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT León TDI + 1.021 9
14. Michaël Rossi FRA SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 1.069 10
15. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SEAT León TDI + 1.135 9
16. Darryl O’Young (I) HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 1.277 8
17. Yukinori Taniguchi (I) JPN_thumb[2] Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 1.528 10
18. Stefano D’Aste (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 1.849 12
19. Sergio Hernández (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 1.876 13
20. Franz Engstler (I) Team Engstler BMW 320si + 1.965 9
21. Andrei Romanov (I) RUS_thumb[2] Team Engstler BMW 320si + 2.407 13
22. Masataka Yanagida (I) JPN_thumb[2] Wiechers Sport BMW 320si + 2.546 13
23. Yoshihiro Ito (I) JPN_thumb[2] Team Engstler BMW 320si + 2.641 13
24. Nobuteru Taniguchi (I) JPN_thumb[2] Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 3.383 12
25. Kevin Chen (I) TWN Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 3.844 6
26. Henry Ho (I) MAC Ho Chun Kei BMW 320si + 4.222 13
27. Mehdi Bennani (I) MOR Wiechers Sport BMW 320si no time  

[Original images via FIA WTCC official site]

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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.