Saturday morning at Sonoma has hot temperatures and no wind at all for Day One of the World Touring Car Championship races at Sonoma Raceway. This is the second visit by the FIA international series, and it’s only American stop on the 12-race schedule. It will be an action-packed weekend, with two Sunday WTCC races. Also racing this weekend are Pirelli GT3 Porsche Cup, US Touring Car Championship and the Yokohama Drifting Demonstrations.
PEPE ORIOLA/No.74 Tuenti Racing Team Chevrolet Cruz was the fastest of 23 WTCC drivers in the first free practice at 1:45.966/85.115 mph/136.98 kph.
Second through fifth were TOM CHILTON/No.23 RML Chevrolet Cruze, YVAN MULLER/No.12 RML Chevrolet Cruze, GABRIELE TARQUINI/No.3 Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC, and 2012 WTCC Champion, ROBERT HUFF/No.1 ALL-INKL.COM Munnich Motorsport SEAT Leon WTCC.
While only running third for Muller, don’t be deceived. He’s top of many other WTCC charts for 2013 and in the past: most race wins-36; most pole positions-20; most fastest laps-6; and most laps led-69. And, Muller races a Chevrolet, which has topped the WTCC stats with most race wins, most poles, most fastest laps and most laps led.
Chilton’s younger brother, MAX CHILTON/Marrusia struggled in Monza Italy for Formula One Qualifying, gridding last of the 22 drivers.
Twenty-three of the 24 drivers were on course. Only TOM CORONEL/No.15 ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 was not on track.
Friday the WTCC drivers had a test session, with TIAGO MONTEIRO/No.18 Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC fastest. The session was mostly incident-free, with JAMES THOMPSON/No.10 LADA Sport Lukoil LADA Granta having a suspension/loose wheel problem; and spins by CHARLES NG/No.7 Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320, DARRYL O’YOUNG/No.55 ROAL Motorsport BMW 320, and FERNANDO MONJE/No.19 Campos Racing SEAT Leon WTCC.