The Citroën C-Elysée realize a WTCC tripled, with the second and third spots José María López and Sébastien Loeb.
Played in the spring sunshine, the Friday practice allowed the Citroën drivers to test different solutions to the most twisty season. Compared to previous meetings, the C-Elysée WTCC remained in the same configuration, while other cars were unloaded TC1 60 kg, according to the rules of compensation performance issued by the FIA.
After the storms of the night, the track was partially wet when competitors sprang for the first free practice session. End of the session, José María López-shod a new set of tires and it became the first driver to surpass the 1'50''. In 1'49'' 494, ahead of Yvan Muller Argentina more than a second. By late morning, it was the turn of Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb switch to new tires. The two Alsatians were the fastest in the second session, with respective lap of 1'49'' 301 and 1'49'' 674.
The sky cleared at the time of qualifying. Face forums already well stocked, drivers darted first 20 minutes Q1. Upon first run, the three Citroën C-Elysée WTCC realized time under 1'50''. Q2 was much disputed, with the first five grouped in less than 3/10th. Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest to José María López, Tiago Monteiro, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb.
During the lap of Q3, Yvan Muller showed sovereign. In the attack almost from one end to the other, the quadruple World Champion bursting bar 1'49'' (1'48'' 727). Also author of a performance without fault, José María López was satisfied with his second place. And 53/1000e Loeb snatched third place Tiago Monteiro!
Yves Matton: "We have seen since the beginning of the weekend, the situation has changed due to the weight of compensation. Q2 was particularly disputed, until the last second when Gabriele Tarquini took over the best time. Our pilots have made a difference in Q3, including Yvan and Jose who used their experience to complete the towers to the limit. Just behind his teammates, Seb must make further progress in this exercise to reduce to a minimum safety margin. It is in any case a great result overall for the Citroen Total team. "
Yvan Muller: "It's always difficult to make a perfect lap here. The circuit is long, with many turns, and must choose to attack at the beginning or the end. This time, I made a difference in the first two sectors. The third was not particularly good, but it was enough for pole position. It was a great fight and I am especially pleased to have been the fastest. We have seen today, especially in Q2, our opponents have come close. This promises an interesting race tomorrow! "
José María López: "I knew it would be tight and I pushed as hard as possible in Q3. I have not made a mistake, but my first sector was worse than my teammates. I must say that I was impressed by the performance of Yvan. It was a fantastic tour and he really deserves this pole position. I am satisfied with my second place. "
Sebastien Loeb: "This qualifying session was the tightest since the beginning of the season so it's satisfying to be third. My turn to Q3 was good despite minor errors in the last sector. But since the beginning of the weekend, I'm still a few tenths of Yvan and Pechito and so it proved. "