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Paul Ricard WTCC: Citroen's Loeb and Lopez lose front row starts

Sebastien Loeb

Citroen's provisional front row qualifiers Sebastien Loeb and Jose Maria Lopez have had their qualifying times cancelled at Paul Ricard's second round of the World Touring Car Championship.

A problem concerning a valve on a safety cut-off system, which restricts fuel to the engine in the event of an accident or emergency, was found in post-qualifying technical checks on the C-Elysee cars of Loeb and Lopez.

The valve was found to be functioning correctly on the similar car of provisional third-place qualifier Yvan Muller, who has been promoted to pole position.

Loeb and Lopez are set to start from the back of the grid.

Citroen press officer Marie-Pierre Rossi said: "We take safety extremely seriously, in rallying for example we carry an extra fire extinguisher, so there is no way we would have taken any chances.

"We won't know why the valve wasn't working until we get the cars back. Perhaps something was defective.

"We are not appealing."

Revised starting positions:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car
 1.  Yvan Muller           Citroen
 2.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda
 3.  Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet
 4.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda
 5.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet
 6.  Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet
 7.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet
 8.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda
 9.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet
10.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda
11.  Rob Huff              Lada
12.  James Thompson        Lada
13.  Mikhail Kozlowskiy    Lada
14.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT*
15.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW*
16.  Pasquale di Sabatino  Engstler BMW*
17.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen
18.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen

* TC2

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