Lopez leads second Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC practice

Jose Maria Lopez was fastest in the second World Touring Car Championship practice session at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, lapping his Citroen C-Elysee almost three seconds quicker than anyone else

Lopez leads second Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC practice

With rain overnight having dampened the circuit, Lopez backed up his session-topping pace from Thursday evening's first practice with the fastest time on Friday morning on an ever-drying track.

Lopez had slipped to 10th while he was on his final lap of the hour-long session, but recorded a fastest time of 9m41.561s shortly before the chequered flag, putting him five seconds clear of the pack at that point.

Late improvements from Lada drivers Hugo Valente and Gabriele Tarquini, the latter jumping Valente for second after the chequered flag had fallen, restored some pride in the pack - but Lopez's pace in the damp start to the session was ominous, with wetter weather expected in Friday afternoon's qualifying session.

Following news of Honda's exclusion from the previous two WTCC events earlier in the morning, Norbert Michelisz was the best of the marque's contingent in fourth.

Team-mates Tiago Monteiro and Rob Huff were eighth and 14th respectively, the latter suffering a second session-ending off of the weekend in the final few minutes of the session - though Huff's Turn 1 incident was far less violent than his first practice crash.

Nicky Catsburg was shuffled back to fifth in the third Lada Vesta by his team-mates' late improvements, but finished comfortably faster than sixth-place Yvan Muller in the second factory C-Elysee, with independent driver Tom Chilton seventh, once again fastest of the Sebastien Loeb Racing contingent.

Chilton's team-mates Mehdi Bennani and Gregoire Demoustier completed the top 10 behind Monteiro.

Sabine Schmitz was 15th after damaging the front-left of her Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze in an off at Aremberg, while neither of Polestar's Fredrik Ekblom or Thed Bjork completed a timed lap.

PRACTICE TWO TIMES

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 9m41.561s - 3
2 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 9m44.284s 2.723s 4
3 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 9m46.414s 4.853s 4
4 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 9m46.828s 5.267s 3
5 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 9m47.818s 6.257s 3
6 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 9m50.655s 9.094s 3
7 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 9m55.224s 13.663s 3
8 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 9m59.830s 18.269s 3
9 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 10m01.629s 20.068s 3
10 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 10m01.677s 20.116s 3
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 10m04.448s 22.887s 3
12 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 10m14.845s 33.284s 3
13 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 10m16.161s 34.600s 3
14 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 10m29.048s 47.487s 2
15 Sabine Schmitz Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 14m52.523s 5m10.962s 1
16 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo - - 3
17 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo - - 3

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Series WTCC
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Author Jack Cozens
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