Di Sabatino chases factory cars

Pasquale Di Sabatino took fourth place in second practice for the World Touring Car Championship races at the Salzburgring as Chevrolet again dominated.


The order of the front three was again Alain Menu, Yvan Muller and Rob Huff, with Menu's time of a minute 27.304 seconds three-tenths slower than his FP1 mark.

The bamboo-engineering Cruze of Pasquale Di Sabatino was followed by Gabriele Tarquini’s SEAT Leon.

In a session that was twice interrupted by red flags, Menu set the leading time late on.

However it was Huff who set the early pace - and he was leading Menu and Muller when the red flags came out for the first time around seven minutes into the session. The stoppage was caused when Darryl O’Young’s SEAT hit the tyre pile on the inside of Turn 1, forcing the Leon to stop in the middle of the chicane.

It was then Muller’s turn to lead the Chevrolet pack until there were 11 minutes remaining, when the two BMWs of Gabor Weber (Turn 13) and then Mehdi Bennani (Turn 9) went off the track and caused the second stoppage. The final third of the half-hour session then saw Menu make a last-minute bid to set the fastest time, helped by a clear track for all but the final few corners.

In the Yokohama Trophy, Di Sabatino was only around a tenth of a second or so quicker than his team-mate Alex MacDowall - fourth in FP1 - while Pepe Oriola was third fastest in the category.

Once again, the tight chicane at Turns 1 and 2 caught out several of the drivers, with all of the Chevrolets taking either to the escape road or, in Huff’s case, the gravel at one point. Tarquini had to use the escape road on no fewer than three occasions, causing the race director to issue a warning about respecting the track limits at the chicane.

The two-part qualifying session begins at 14:45 UK time.

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