Slovakia Ring, FP1: WTCC champion López hits back
"It was good and I’m very happy"
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.
|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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