Lopez like the Senna or Schumacher of WTCC - Chilton
WTCC driver Tom Chilton says Jose Maria Lopez's current performances in the category are akin to the past eras of Formula 1 dominance by grand prix legends Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
Citroen driver Lopez, who became WTCC champion in both of his full-time campaigns in the series so far, is currently the odds-on favorite to win the title in 2016 as well, leading the standings by 94 points after five rounds.
And Chilton, fresh off taking two podiums in a Nurburgring Nordschleife round swept by Lopez, was full of praise for the Argentine's performances.
The Briton, who drives for Citroen privateer squad SLR, said: "I tell you what, I've done 15 years of touring cars, I'm pretty experienced, 300 races in the British [Touring Car Championship] and over 100 races in the World [Touring Car Championship]... and for me, to drive against somebody and go 'how are you always beating me?'.
"Last weekend at the Norschleife, I was having what would you call a very good weekend where I was driving very well, my engineer and me had a perfect set-up on the car, perfect relationship - and usually when I have a perfect day, I win and no-one can touch me.
"And I finish four tenths behind him in race 1 - and yes I got the fastest lap, but I couldn't beat him. On a good day I can't beat him, so we're all screwed on bad days."
Chilton then went on to hail Lopez as the "perfect driver" of the modern WTCC era.
"I think if you got every other driver on the grid all in our cars - the same car, the Citroen [C-Elysee] - they'd all go 'yeah, he's pretty special'.
"Cause you think you're doing it all perfect and you're the best in the world and suddenly this guy... I can only describe him as Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher, as someone in their era when they were the perfect driver, you can't beat them - I can only describe him as them."
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