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Spa WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez dominates Friday test for Citroen

Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, Spa WTCC 2014

World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez topped an overcast Friday test as the series returned to Belgian Grand Prix venue Spa-Francorchamps for the first time since 2005.

Lopez left it until his final lap to topple title rival and Citroen team-mate Yvan Muller from the head of the timing screens. The triple TC2000 champion was the only driver to break into the 2m24s, his lap of 2m24.575s being 0.718 seconds quicker than the Frenchman.

In the early damp running, Lopez initially held a 6.5s edge over Miller, and was still 1.2s ahead at the mid-way mark.

Tiago Monteiro prevented a Citroen lock-out of the top three positions. In the final minute of the session, the factory Honda racer demoted Sebastien Loeb to fourth.

Nine-time World Rally champion Loeb ended the afternoon sandwiched between the two JAS-run Civics of Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini.

Dusan Borkovic was the top privateer in sixth, the Serbian three tenths quicker than his Campos team-mate Hugo Valente, with whom he had collided at the preceding Moscow Raceway meeting.

Citroen's occasional fourth driver Ma Qing Hua, winner of the reversed-grid race in Russia on his championship debut, took a solid eighth. Ma languished outside the top 10 until finding a significant last lap improvement.

James Thompson was the fastest Lada driver in 14th, some 4.471s off Lopez's benchmark pace.

Aiming for his fifth consecutive TC2 victory, Franz Engstler led the Yokohama Drivers' Trophy runners.

Pos  Driver                Team/Car           Time       Gap
 1.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            2m24.574s
 2.  Yvan Muller           Citroen            2m25.292s  +0.718s
 3.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda              2m25.583s  +1.009s
 4.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen            2m25.794s  +1.220s
 5.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda              2m25.940s  +1.366s
 6.  Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet   2m25.954s  +1.380s
 7.  Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet   2m26.242s  +1.668s
 8.  Ma Qing Hua           Citroen            2m27.346s  +2.772s
 9.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda        2m27.625s  +3.051s
10.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet  2m27.656s  +3.082s
11.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet     2m27.792s  +3.218s
12.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda      2m27.927s  +3.353s
13.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet     2m28.799s  +4.225s
14.  James Thompson        Lada               2m29.045s  +4.471s
15.  Rob Huff              Lada               2m29.344s  +4.770s
16.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet  2m30.565s  +5.991s
17.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada               2m30.998s  +6.424s
18.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       2m35.511s  +10.937s*
19.  Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       2m37.104s  +12.530s*
20.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT        2m40.076s  +15.502s*

* TC2
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