Shanghai, Qual.: López celebrates Citroën WTCC title with China pole

Catsburg on the front row

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By Olivier Ferret

24 September 2016 - 09:40
Shanghai, Qual.: López celebrates (...)

José María López made sure that Citroën provisionally clinched the FIA World Touring Car Championship manufacturers’ title* in style with pole position for WTCC Race of China.

Without any Hondas making it into Q3, and therefore unable to take any points from the session, Citroën’s success was already sealed before the shootout for the DHL-presented pole position for the Main Race got underway in Shanghai.

As the quickest man in Q2, López was the last of the five drivers to shoot for pole, and managed to better the benchmark set by LADA driver Nicky Catsburg by 0.161 seconds.

Catsburg produced a great lap at the start of Q3 to claim a place on the front row, four tenths clear of third-placed Yvan Muller in the second factory Citroën.

Mehdi Bennani was the top performer in the WTCC Trophy in qualifying in fourth place, only 0.033s behind Muller, while Thed Björk completed the top five with another Q3 appearance for Polestar and Volvo.

Gabriele Tarquini narrowly missed out on a Q3 place in sixth for LADA, ahead of Volvo returnee Fredrik Ekblom. Tom Chilton was eighth, while Norbert Michelisz was the best-placed Honda driver in ninth. John Filippi rounded out the top 10, and took the Opening Race pole position.

Filippi’s fellow Chevrolet RML Cruze drivers Tom Coronel and James Thompson were 11th and 12th respectively after making the cut for Q2, something that was missed by Hugo Valente in the third LADA and Honda’s Tiago Monteiro and Rob Huff.

Pos. Driver Team Car Q1 time Q2 time Q3 time
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1:50.279 1:49.524 1:49.339
2 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 1:50.405 1:50.310 1:49.500
3 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1:50.864 1:50.248 1:49.911
4 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1:50.795 1:50.109 1:49.944
5 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Volvo 1:51.070 1:50.164 1:50.677
---------- -------- -------- -------- --------- ---------
6 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 1:50.634 1:50.393
7 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Volvo 1:50.532 1:50.439
8 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1:50.761 1:50.498
9 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1:51.039 1:50.787
10 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1:50.919 1:50.809
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1:51.251 1:50.825
12 James Thompson Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1:51.254 1:50.917
---------- -------- -------- -------- --------- ---------
13 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 1:51.399
14 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1:51.404
15 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1:51.523
16 Grégoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1:51.848
17 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Honda 1:52.519
18 Daniel Nagy Zengo Honda 1:52.810

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