Lopez leads delayed Vila Real test session

Citroen's Jose Maria Lopez was fastest of all in the first testing session at the Vila Real circuit in Portugal, over eight tenths of a second faster than the Honda of Norbert Michelisz.

The championship leader clocked a best lap around the newest circuit on the WTCC calendar of 2:01.455 in his C-Elysee, in a session which was delayed and then red-flagged early on due to problems with one of the barriers.

Michelisz was the only driver within a second of Lopez, with Lopez's teammate and closest championship rival Yvan Muller third, 1.4 seconds down.

Sebastien Loeb was fourth fastest in his Citroen ahead of Mehdi Bennani in the Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen.

Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest of the factory Hondas in sixth, ahead of Hugo Valente, who was the fastest of the Chevrolet drivers.

Tiago Monteiro was eighth fastest at his home circuit in the works Honda Civic, with Nestor Girolami ninth fastest for Nika Racing in his second outing of the season, with Citroen's Ma Qing Hua completing the top ten.

Jaap van Lagen was the best placed of the three works Ladas in 12th, leading teammates Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg in 13th and 14th.

Neil Hudson/TouringCarTimes

Pos  Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Gap   Laps 
Jose Maria Lopez Citroen 2'01.455   11
N.Michelisz Honda 2'02.269 0.814 12
Yvan Muller Citroen 2'02.819 1.364 12
Sebastien Loeb Citroen 2'02.920 1.465 11
Mehdi Bennani Citroen 2'03.371 1.916 12
G.Tarquini Honda 2'03.639 2.184 12
Hugo Valente Chevrolet 2'03.899 2.444 12
Tiago Monteiro Honda 2'04.205 2.750 13
Nestor Girolami Honda 2'04.851 3.396 12
10  Ma Qing Hua Citroen 2'04.892 3.437 12
11  Tom Coronel Chevrolet 2'05.358 3.903 12
12  Jaap van Lagen Lada 2'05.931 4.476 10
13  Rob Huff Lada 2'06.202 4.747 12
14  Nicky Catsburg Lada 2'06.423 4.968 11
15  Stefano D'Aste Chevrolet 2'06.538 5.083 11
16  Tom Chilton Chevrolet 2'06.945 5.490 11
17  John Filippi Chevrolet 2'08.620 7.165 10
18  G.Demoustier Chevrolet 2'10.498 9.043 10
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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Vila Real
Track Circuito Internacional de Vila Real
Article type Testing report