Suarez, currently second in the championship standings, made a flying start with fastest time in the opening Blankenheim test ahead of series leader Pontus Tidemand and Yeray Lemes. Lemes struck back on the following Sauertal test to edge Suarez, with Tidemand third fastest.
As the cars returned to the Trier service park, Suarez was 10.7sec clear of Tidemand, with Lemes a further 2.0sec behind. All three drivers are at the wheel of identical Hankook-shod, GEM-fuelled Ford Fiesta R2 cars.
Suarez knows a win here, aided by accumulating as many bonus points for fastest stage times as possible, could be crucial in helping to cut Tidemand’s series lead.
“Fastest on the first stage was good, but it could maybe have been quicker. I took it relatively easy to check I didn’t have a puncture after hitting something when I cut a corner. In the second stage I just made sure of putting in a good time without taking risks. From now on it’s flat out all the way. I’m going for the win,” he said.
Marius Aasen and Michael Burri are closely matched in fourth and fifth after taking turns to set fourth fastest time through the two stages. Sander Parn rounds off the top six.