WTCC: Menu remains on top at Suzuka

Alain Menu retained his place at the top of the timesheets at the WTCC event in Suzuka after pacing the second free practice session at Suzuka.

WTCC: Menu remains on top at Suzuka

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Chevrolet's Alain Menu at Sepang

Having gone fastest in testing and the opening practice session, the Swiss made it three out of three when he set the benchmark once again in second practice.

Mens posted a first provisional fastest lap of 54.300 in the early stages. Halfway through the session he was demoted to third, when Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro improved to 54.184 and 54.195 respectively.

But he was not down for long, and he retook the lead completing a lap of 53.750 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

In the session’s dying minutes Rob Huff was timed at 53.808 and climbed to second, then Fernando Monje created a surprise going for new tyres to post the third fastest lap of 54.041 that also gave him the leadership of the Yokohama Trophy.

Otherwise it would have been the usual Chevrolet trio on top, as Yvan Muller (54.058) was classified fourth ahead of Tarquini and Monteiro.

As in the first practice Hiroki Yoshimoto and his SUNRED León claimed a brilliant seventh position, with Pepe Oriola in eighth and the best BMW, Norbert Michelisz’s, in ninth. James Nash rounded off the top-10 with his Ford.

Once again a bunch of drivers explored the circuit’s run-off areas, but they all rejoined with no damage: Masaki Kano, Oriola, Aleksei Dudukalo and Michelisz at Turn 1, Oriola at Turn 2, Tom Chilton and Kano at Turn 8.

Tom Coronel and Franz Engstler missed most of the session, because their team crews were forced to change broken exhausts on their BMW cars. Both drivers were only able to join the session in time to complete one single lap.

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