Sebastien Loeb Racing's Bennani fastest in WTCC Vallelunga test

Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Mehdi Bennani topped the opening day of World Touring Car Championship testing at Vallelunga

Sebastien Loeb Racing's Bennani fastest in WTCC Vallelunga test

Moroccan Bennani notched up 88 laps of the Italian circuit in his satellite Citroen C-Elysee on the way to the fastest time of the day, a 1m37.000s, in the afternoon session.

Jose Maria Lopez completed a half-day of testing and recorded the second-fastest time in his works C-Elysee, 0.348 seconds back.

The reigning world champion had been fastest in the morning ahead of Bennani, before handing over testing duties to team-mate Yvan Muller in the afternoon.

The Frenchman completed 27 laps on his way to the sixth-fastest time.

Volvo newcomers Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Bjork set impressive times in their respective S60s, the former ending the day with the third-fastest time - just 0.004s slower than Lopez.

Ekblom was third-fastest in the opening session and ended the day seventh on the leaderboard, the pair notching up 112 laps between them.

Briton Tom Chilton was fourth in his SLR C-Elysee, ahead of Norbert Michelisz, who was Honda's sole representative.

John Fillippi recorded the eighth fastest time, although his day ended less than an hour into the second session after a test-ending crash.

His best time was set in the morning session, and was enough to leave him ahead of the third SLR C-Elysee of Gregoire Demoustier and Rene Munnich, who completed 48 laps in his team's Chevrolet Cruze.

Lada was not present having opted to test privately at Magny-Cours a day earlier. The marque is also due to run its Vesta at Portimao later this week.

Testing will continue on Thursday.

COMBINED TEST RESULTS:

Pos Driver Team/Car Time 1 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m37.000s 2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen +0.348s 3 Thed Bjork Volvo +0.352s 4 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen +0.427s 5 Norbert Michelisz Honda +0.524s 6 Yvan Muller Citroen +0.673s 7 Fredrik Ekblom Volvo +1.088s 8 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet +1.224s 9 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen +2.807s 10 Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet +3.017s

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