Vila Real, Tests: López heads the history-makers in Portugal testing

López clocked a best lap of 2m01.455s

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By Olivier Ferret

10 July 2015 - 14:26
Vila Real, Tests: López heads the (...)

Reigning WTCC champion José María López emerged fastest from testing for rounds 15 and 16 of the FIA World Touring Car Championship as history was made in Vila Real this morning.

The Portuguese city is hosting an FIA world championship motor race for the first time and it was López who beat his 17 WTCC rivals to the fastest time on the challenging 4.755-kilometre street track.

Driving a Citroën C-Elysée WTCC, López clocked a best lap of 2m01.455s to edge Honda Civic WTCC pilot and leading Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy contender Norbert Michelisz by 0.814s. Yvan Muller, López’s arch-rival for WTCC title glory, was third with Sébastien Loeb fourth and Mehdi Bennani fifth.

Gabriele Tarquini was sixth for Honda, Hugo Valente the top Chevrolet runner in seventh, home hero Tiago Monteiro eighth, Néstor Girolami ninth and Ma Qing Hua from China completing the top 10.

Tom Coronel set P11, Jaap van Lagen was the top LADA pilot in P12 with team-mates Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg next up. Stefano D’Aste, Tom Chilton, John Filippi and Grégoire Demoustier filled the remaining four places.

The 30-minute test session gave the WTCC teams and drivers their first taste of the Vila Real circuit. The next track activity is Free Practice 1 at 09h10 local time on Saturday.

Pos. Driver Team Car Time
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:01.455
2 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2:02.269
3 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:02.819
4 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:02.920
5 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2:03.371
6 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:03.639
7 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:03.899
8 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2:04.205
9 Nestor Girolami Nika International Honda 2:04.851
10 Ma Qing Hua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2:04.892
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:05.375
12 Jaap Van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:05.931
13 Robert Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:06.202
14 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2:06.423
15 Stefano D’Aste Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2:06.538
16 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2:06.945
17 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2:08.620
18 Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2:10.498

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