WTCC: Lopez dominates qualifying on home ground

WTCC: Lopez dominates qualifying on home ground

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WTCC: Lopez dominates qualifying on home ground


Citroen’s Jose Maria Lopez claimed pole position for the opening round of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship in Argentina by a commanding 1.2-second margin from team-mate Yvan Muller. It was a dominant performance made all the more emphatic by the fact that key rivals made conspicuous errors.

Rob Huff was fastest of all in the new Lada Vesta in the first round of qualifying, after which Gregoire Demoustier, John Filippi, Dusan Borkovic, Rickard Rydell and Norbert Michelisz (who lost his front-left wheel) were eliminated. But the Ladas were unable to repeat that performance in the second round, and Huff will start both Sunday’s races in 11th place. Team-mate James Thompson will start the reverse-grid race two on pole postion by dint of finishing 10th in Q2.

Ma Qing Hua closed out Q2 fastest of all in a factory Citroen 1-2-3 ahead of Lopez and Yvan Muller, but he over-committed on his fast lap in the Q3 shoot-out and will start race one from fourth on the grid.

Sebastien Loeb also had an off-track moment in Q3 while Honda’s Tiago Monteiro, the sole non-Citroen runner to make it through to the final round of qualifying, could not summon the pace to challenge the C-Elysees.

Muller set a benchmark time of 1m46.701s, but his time on provisional pole was shortlived as Lopez nailed a searingly clean lap of 1m45.461s.

“I don’t think anybody apart form me did a clean lap,” said Lopez. “It’s not possible to have a gap of one second in Q3.”

Laptimes were slower than this morning’s second practice owing to higher ambient temperatures in the early afternoon sun.


Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 45.461s
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 46.701s 1.240s
3 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 47.061s 1.600s
4 Ma Qing Hua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 47.203s 1.742s
5 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m 47.633s 2.172s
6 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 46.738s
7 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m 46.967s
8 Stefano D’Aste Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 47.120s
9 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 48.322s
10 James Thompson LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m 50.165s
11 Robert Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m 50.553s
12 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen
13 Dusan Borkovic Proteam Racing Honda 1m 48.443s
14 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m 48.507s
15 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 1m 49.042s
16 Rickard Rydell Nika International Honda 1m 49.267s
17 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda
18 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet

Q1 decides 13th-back, Q2 decides 6th-12th, Q3 pole shootout for top five

Race two grid is Q2 top 10 order reversed, then as race one from 11th back

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