WTCC: Lopez quickest again in practice two

WTCC: Lopez quickest again in practice two

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WTCC: Lopez quickest again in practice two

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Jose Maria Lopez saw off the challenge of Citroen teammate and archrival Yvan Muller to go quickest in an eventful second World Touring Car Championship practice session in Argentina.

As the frontrunners sliced well over a second off their lap times from this morning, Muller set the initial pace with a time of 1m46.979s before the session was red-flagged.

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente had been the fastest of the privateer Chevrolet contingent until he suffered a brake failure at the end of the main straight, forcing him to downshift and buzz the engine to shed speed.

The car caught fire as it nudged into the barriers and suffered major damage; Valente was “quite pessimistic” about his prospects of making the races on Sunday.

Under green-flag conditions Ma Qing Hua eclipsed Muller’s time with a 1m46.833s, only to be displaced by a Lopez who was clearly exploring the limits of his C-Elysee’s dynamic envelope. Lopez then shaved a further fraction off his own best time with his final lap of 1m46.589s, 0.244 seconds quicker than Ma.

Only the Citroens lapped below the 1m47s mark. Tiago Monteiro was the quickest of the works Honda drivers once again, fourth fastest overall with a lap of 1m47.031s.

Rob Huff took his Lada Vesta by the scruff, fifth fastest with 1m47.442s in a session punctuated by spins and a near miss with a stray dog that had found its way onto the circuit.

Citroen drivers Mehdi Bennani and Sebastien Loeb improved on their times from the earlier session, but not by as much as their rivals, and they were split in the final rankings by Stefano D’Aste’s Chevrolet.

Likewise a number of drivers outside the top 10, including Gabriele Tarquini, Tom Chilton, Tom Coronel and Norbert Michelisz, improved their times by a second or more but it was not enough to gain them traction in the running order.

Touring car newcomer Gregoire Demoustier, slowest of all in this morning’s session, made good progress in the Craft-Bamboo Chevrolet, shaving almost three seconds off his previous best.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 46.589s
2 Ma Qing Hua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 46.833s 0.244s
3 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 46.979s 0.390s
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m 47.031s 0.442s
5 Robert Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m 47.442s 0.853s
6 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m 47.950s 1.361s
7 Stefano D’Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 47.956s 1.367s
8 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m 47.976s 1.387s
9 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m 48.110s 1.521s
10 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m 48.128s 1.539s
11 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m 48.170s 1.581s
12 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 48.209s 1.620s
13 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m 48.632s 2.043s
14 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m 48.648s 2.059s
15 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 1m 48.850s 2.261s
16 Rickard Rydell Nika International Honda 1m 49.062s 2.473s
17 James Thompson LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m 49.134s 2.545s
18 Dusan Borkovic Proteam Racing Honda 1m 49.762s 3.173s

 

Originally on Autosport.com

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