Mikel Azcona and his title-contending BRC Squadra Corse teammate Norbert Michelisz were fastest in the two practice session of the Kumho TCR World Tour, held Thursday at Macau’s Guia Circuit, though the second session was unrepresentative after two red flag stoppages.
FP1 - The first session was mainly fought out between the two Hyundai drivers as well as the Lynk & Co of points leader Yann Ehrlacher who set the early benchmark time of 2:30.980, before improving and bringing it down to a 2:29.816. Azcona then took over at the top with a 2:29.621, before Ehrlacher responded by going under the qualifying lap record set by Rob Huff in 2019 with a time of 2:29.313. Azcona had more pace yet in his Elantra N, and finished the session fastest of all ahead of Ehrlacher with a time of 2:29.037, with teammate Michelisz third, just four-tenths behind, while the rest of the field had set more conservative times, with joint-points leader Huff fourth-quickest, 1.2 seconds off the pace.
FP 2 - The second session was heavily disrupted, though there was enough time at the start for Michelisz to almost match Azcona’s time from the first session with a time of 2:29.048. Azcona was second quickest, just under two-tenths off the pace, with Ehrlacher third, the only other driver within a second. The session was first stopped with barely enough time for two green flag laps when both Ben Bargwanna stopped on circuit in his Peugeot 308 with a water temperature issue, and Ma Qing Hua crashing his Lynk & Co out at Lisboa after passing the Audi of John Filippi down the inside.
The session resumed after a short delay, but was then red-flagged again before anyone had set a lap when Osborn Li Weng Ji crashed his Hyundai i30 out just before Maternity bend.
Picture: Macau Grand Prix