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Slovakia Ring, FP1: WTCC champion López hits back

"It was good and I’m very happy"

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By Olivier Ferret

20 June 2015 - 10:45
Slovakia Ring, FP1: WTCC champion (...)

José María López hit back from his testing mishap to go fastest in Free Practice 1 for WTCC Race of Slovakia.

Driving a Citroën Total C-Elysée WTCC, López lapped the 5.922-kilometre Slovakia Ring in a time of 2m05.135s, 0.716s quicker than LADA Sport Rosneft’s Rob Huff but outside of his qualifying lap record from last season.

Afterwards, López said the performance had been the perfect response following his off in Friday testing when he spun into a gravel trap and languished in 10th overall in the final classification.

“It was good and I’m very happy,” said López, who won the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship. “I was a little worried after yesterday because I couldn’t find the pace. But I have a great team and a great group of people working and looking at the car.

“Yesterday I made a mistake so it’s good to be back on form. It’s a long way to go but I try to use this performance in my favour to improve a bit more. You have to learn from your mistakes, do your best but the good thing is we’re back on form today although Huff is looking pretty strong.”

Behind Huff, Ma Qing Hua was third for Citroën with Jaap van Lagen underlining a strong effort from LADA in fourth. Gabriele Tarquini and Norbert Michelisz were fifth and sixth respectively in their Hondas with Yvan Muller, Tiago Monteiro and Tom Chilton next up.

Chilton, driving a ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet, could have been faster but missed half of the session stuck in a gravel trap following an off.

Néstor Girolami continues to impress on his WTCC debut with the Argentine 10th fastest for Honda Racing team Sweden.

The WTCC stars will be back on track at 12h00 local time for Free Practice 2.

Pos. Driver Team Car Time
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:05.201
2 Robert Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:05.917
3 Ma Qing Hua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:06.139
4 Jaap Van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:06.189
5 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:06.252
6 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2:06.360
7 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:06.367
8 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:06.462
9 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:06.473
10 Nestor Girolami Nika International Honda 2:06.475
11 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:06.585
12 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2:06.597
13 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:06.740
14 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:06.843
15 Stefano D’Aste Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2:07.062
16 Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2:07.093
17 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:08.057
18 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:08.182
19 Mato Homola Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:09.517

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