Weather was sunny and warm already in the early morning at Bahrain International Circuit for the first free practice session of the last round of the TCR Middle East Series. The five cars in contention started the set-up work, and quite soon the Lap 57 Honda Civic of Josh Files emerged as the fastest car, with a best time of 1.10.140 that left the competition half a second behind. Still, the Brit had to shorten the session: “I had some misfiring problems and preferred to stop and have the team resolving the issue. Other than that, it is great to be in such a great track”, he commented.
Second fastest was Davit Kajaia (1:10.726) at the wheel of the Mulsanne Racing Alfa Romeo Giulietta, despite excessive understeering a slight off-track that damaged the front splitter. Point leader Brandon Gdovic (1:11.793) was third-fastest, reporting some gear shifting problems but still leading the trio of Liqui Moly Team Engstler Volkswagen Golf cars.
Italian young gun Giacomo Altoè is a last-minute addition to the German squad and spent this first session learning the car and the track, while the other young star of the outfit, Luca Engstler struggled with brake pad issues.
The second Free Practice will start at 12:35 local time (10:35 in Central Europe).