More famous for his exploits in the world of GT racing, Stephane Ortelli enjoyed a successful first day of running back behind the wheel of a touring car as he placed his SEAT France Toledo Cupra sixth on the grid for his WTCC debut at Oschersleben.

Ortelli, whose most recent GT success came in the 1000km of Spa when he partnered Allan McNish to victory in an Audi R8, was on the pace in his Team Oreca run car throughout the day - finishing fourth and tenth in the two practice sessions before ending qualifying as the second of the SEAT drivers in seventh place.

With Jorg Muller's penalty applied, Ortelli will line-up on row three alongside SEAT Sport works driver Rickard Rydell, with the 35-year-old admitting he wasn't surprised with his strong showing.

"We knew we had a good car for this track and it felt good to drive so I am not really surprised," he said. "Perhaps I was a bit too safe and conservative and could have been a bit more extreme on the exit of the corners but we still have things to develop.

"We have used just two sets of tyres and saved one set for tomorrow, I'm not sure if this was a good decision because I think if we had used the last set I would have a better qualifying position. However, we are a new team and so
for now we can say C'est la vie."

 

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