Big crash for Loeb in Hungary, as Lopez tops first practice

Citroen Racing faces a big job to rebuild Sebastien Loeb's C-Elysee after a heavy crash in free practice for the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Hungaroring.

His teammate Jose Maria Lopez dominated the session, which took place in wet conditions.

Loeb lost control of his car on his first flying lap heading into Turn 1, hitting the tyre barrier with damage to the front-left corner of his Citroen.

The Frenchman admitted he just lost control of the car: "Conditions were really difficult. I was surprised when braking at the first corner and I hit the tyre wall. That's how it is."

The session was red flagged for 15 minutes as Loeb’s car was recovered and brought back to the pits for the team to start work on it ahead of Free Practice 2, which is provisionally scheduled for 11:30 CET.

When the session restarted, Lopez set the first target lap and remained fastest throughout the session, continuously improving his times, starting with a 2m14.439 and working down to a 2m11.651 by the end of the session, over 1.5 seconds clear of his closest rival.

Closest to Lopez were the two factory Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, both making late improvements to finish ahead of the Citroen of Yvan Muller. Norbert Michelisz, the only other Honda in the race this weekend, was fifth fastest in the privateer Zengo Motorsport entry in front of a keen home crowd.

The fastest of the Chevrolet drivers was Stefano D’Aste, despite receiving a warning for continuously breaching track limits. James Thompson was the quickest of the Lada drivers in 12th, with the weather playing its part in considerably spreading out the field.

Neil Hudson, TouringCarTimes

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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Budapest
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Sébastien Loeb , Jose Maria Lopez
Teams Citroën World Touring Car team
Article type Practice report