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Morocco WTCC: Yvan Muller leads Citroen 1-2-3 in test

Series newcomer Citroen locked out the top three positions in Friday's World Touring Car Championship test in Marrakech, ahead of this weekend's opening round of 2014.

Reigning champion Yvan Muller set the fastest time of 1m44.513s, 0.432s ahead of the similar C-Elysee model of Argentinean former TC2000 champion Jose Maria Lopez.

In his maiden WTCC outing, nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb finished third on the timesheets, a respectable 0.648s off Muller's pace.

All change in the WTCC for 2014

Muller's fastest lap was within 0.2s of Honda driver Gabriele Tarquini's 2013 Marrakech pole time, but times are expected to fall further as the track conditions on the Moulay El Hassan street circuit improve through the weekend.

Campos Racing's Hugo Valente was the top non-Citroen runner in fourth. The Frenchman's RML-built Chevrolet Cruze edged out factory Honda driver Tiago Monteiro by 0.033s.

Former grand prix driver Monteiro had been down in ninth spot with two minutes of the half hour session remaining. His late progress up the order came at the expense of Rob Huff, who showed strongly throughout the session for his new employer Lada.

The 2012 WTCC champion held fourth spot behind the dominant Citroens for much of the session before finishing sixth.

ROAL Motorsport's pairing of Tom Coronel and Tom Chilton claimed seventh and ninth, sandwiching local hero Mehdi Bennani.

Proteam racer Bennani took a relatively late delivery of his Civic WTCC, and only completed his maiden run in the car last Wednesday at the Tazio Nuvolari circuit in Northern Italy.

Pos Driver                  Car                  Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Yvan Muller             Citroen              1m44.513s           10
 2. Jose Maria Lopez        Citroen              1m44.945s  +0.432s  12
 3. Sebastien Loeb          Citroen              1m45.161s  +0.648s  12
 4. Hugo Valente            Campos Chevrolet     1m46.470s  +1.957s  10
 5. Tiago Monteiro          Honda                1m46.503s  +1.990s  12
 6. Rob Huff                Lada                 1m46.798s  +2.285s  10
 7. Tom Coronel             ROAL Chevrolet       1m46.927s  +2.414s  13
 8. Mehdi Bennani           Proteam Honda        1m47.583s  +3.070s  12
 9. Tom Chilton             ROAL Chevrolet       1m47.617s  +3.104s  11
10. Gabriele Tarquini       Honda                1m47.629s  +3.116s  13
11. Gianni Morbidelli       Munnich Chevrolet    1m47.785s  +3.272s  12
12. Dusan Borkovic          Campos Chevrolet     1m47.906s  +3.393s  10
13. Norbert Michelisz       Zengo Honda          1m47.997s  +3.484s  11
14. James Thompson          Lada                 1m48.720s  +4.207s   6
15. Rene Munnich            Munnich Chevrolet    1m49.135s  +4.622s  12
16. Franz Engstler          Engstler BMW         1m50.549s  +6.036s  12 *
17. Mikhail Kozlovskiy      Lada                 1m51.767s  +7.254s   8
18. Peter Fulin             Campos SEAT          1m52.196s  +7.683s  14 *
19. Pasquale di Sabatino    Engstler BMW         1m52.964s  +8.451s   5 *
20. John Filippi            Campos SEAT          1m59.529s  +15.016s  9 *


Follow the first races of the WTCC's new era as they happen with AUTOSPORT Race Centre Live's coverage from Marrakech, beginning 4pm UK time on Sunday April 13 - and watch video highlights on the AUTOSPORT WTCC page

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