Reigning WTCC champion Jose Maria Lopez said that he “loved every lap” of his first running on the Nordschleife during Tuesday’s official test at the fearsome German track.
Lopez clocked the best time during the test with a time of 8m38.027s, 2.5 seconds faster than his Citroen team-mate and closest championship contender Sebastien Loeb.
After the test, Lopez was left awe-struck by his experience on the 25-kilometre circuit, saying: “This was our first outing in the Citroen C-Elysee WTCC on the Nordschleife, and I loved every lap!
“I now understand a little better why everyone talks about it as such a legendary venue. We worked hard to find the right set-up and I can’t wait to come back for the races.
"I’m really happy to have clocked the time I did. It gives me confidence.”
Nine-time World Rally champion Loeb, who had only previously experienced the legendary circuit in a road car late last season, said it was the most challenging circuit he had ever driven on.
“On such a unique circuit, where there is absolutely no margin for error, it was important to get as much practice as possible,” the Frenchman said.
“The track is narrow and the safety barriers are not far away. It feels totally different from any other circuit. I’ve never seen anything so difficult, even at Le Mans.”
Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes