Citroen edges Lada in first run of WTCC's new MAC3 time trial

Citroen won the inaugural World Touring Car Championship MAC3 time trial at Paul Ricard in a close-run contest with Lada

Citroen edges Lada in first run of WTCC's new MAC3 time trial

Yvan Muller, Jose Maria Lopez and the independent Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen C-Elysee of Mehdi Bennani were able to record a time of 3m07.145s across their two laps of the Le Castellet circuit to edge out the Vestas of Gabriele Tarquini, Hugo Valente and Nicky Catsburg by 0.030 seconds.

Rob Huff endured a sluggish start in his Civic as the three Honda drivers began their run, and although he did get going he completed the two-lap run 2.423s slower than Lada had managed.

The MAC3 format was introduced for 2016 as an incentive for manufacturers, with additional points on offer in the manufacturers' championship for competing teams.

Each manufacturer nominated three cars to run two laps of the circuit in a slipstream formation from a standing start.

In the case of Lada and Honda, all three of its factory drivers took part in the time trial, while Citroen nominated Bennani as its third driver alongside its two works men.

Last to run, Citroen started strongly with building a 0.400s over Lada over the opening lap.

That margin of comfort gradually decreased over its run, though, with Bennani dropping away from the back of his manufacturer counterparts to take a 0.103s advantage into the final sector of the second lap.

But the Moroccan did just enough across the line to hand Citroen victory and 10 points towards its manufacturer total, with Lada claiming eight for second and Honda six for third.

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