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

Yvan Muller emerged from a close contest with Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez to top the second World Touring Car Championship free practice session in Marrakech

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

Lopez's effort of 1m43.500s moved the Argentine triple TC2000 champion half a second clear of Muller shortly after the mid-way mark of the half hour session.

Reigning WTCC champion Muller waited until the final minute before offering a response. The Frenchman's time of 1m43.437s edged out Lopez by 0.063s.

As in Friday's test, Citroen's Elysee model locked out the top-three positions, with practice one pacesetter Sebastien Loeb taking third spot.

Tom Chilton was fastest non-Citroen in fourth. On his maiden outing for ROAL Motorsport, Chilton headed fellow Chevrolet Cruze runners and Campos team-mates Dusan Borkovic and Hugo Valente.

The session was interrupted by a lengthy delay owing to a collision involving Italian former grand prix drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Gianni Morbidelli.

Tarquini's Honda initiated the incident by overshooting the approach to the Turn 4 chicane. Unable to make the turn-in, the 2009 WTCC champion took to the asphalt run-off before slowing to rejoin the track.

Morbidelli appeared to straight-line the chicane, possibly in an attempt to stay in the middle of the road and away from Tarquini, but instead launched his Munnich Motorsport Cruze on kerbing and bounced straight into the stationary Honda.

Tarquini is believed to be ruled out of Saturday's qualifying session owing to accident damage, and his participation in Sunday's races is also in doubt.

Repairs to the kerbing resulted in close to a half-hour delay to the session. At the time of the stoppage, Citroen drivers were already firmly established in the top-three positions. Muller sat quickest on a 1m44.073, 0.664s ahead of Lopez, who was in turn 1.622s ahead of Loeb.

Tarquini was best of the rest in fourth, albeit 3.138s behind Muller. The Italian would slip to an eventual 12th. Fellow former WTCC champion Rob Huff again showed well for Lada, securing seventh fastest time.

Lopez and team-mate Loeb were among several drivers to take to escape roads, and the Turn 4 chicane, before a 180-degree curve onto the back-straight, proved a particular problem location.

Tom Coronel's presence in practice two had been in doubt owing to damage sustained to the Dutch veteran's Cruze in the morning session. The over-run to the session caused by the Tarquini/Morbidelli accident allowed Coronel to squeeze in three laps before the chequered flag.

Pos  Driver                Team/Car           Time       Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller           Citroen            1m43.437s
 2.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            1m43.500s  +0.063s
 3.  Sébastien Loeb        Citroen            1m44.572s  +1.135s
 4.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet     1m44.975s  +1.538s
 5.  Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet   1m45.264s  +1.827s
 6.  Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet   1m45.528s  +2.091s
 7.  Rob Huff              Lada               1m45.695s  +2.258s
 8.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda      1m46.154s  +2.717s
 9.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet  1m46.254s  +2.817s
10.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda        1m47.030s  +3.593s
11.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda              1m47.173s  +3.736s
12.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda              1m47.211s  +3.774s
13.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada               1m47.525s  +4.088s
14.  James Thompson        Lada               1m48.772s  +5.335s
15.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       1m49.802s  +6.365s*
16.  Petr Fulin            Campos SEAT        1m49.971s  +6.534s*
17.  Pasquale di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       1m50.888s  +7.451s*
18.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT        1m54.109s  +10.672s*
19.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet     2m02.701s  +19.264s
20.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet  2m04.145s  +20.708s

* TC2
shares
comments
Morocco WTCC: Sebastien Loeb heads Yvan Muller in Citroen 1-2
Previous article

Morocco WTCC: Sebastien Loeb heads Yvan Muller in Citroen 1-2

Next article

Jose Maria Lopez takes pole for Citroen in Marrakech WTCC opener

Jose Maria Lopez takes pole for Citroen in Marrakech WTCC opener
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014