Shanghai WTCC: Citroen's Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller lead practice

Chinese racer Ma Qing Hua set the fastest time in World Touring Car Championship practice at Shanghai

Shanghai WTCC: Citroen's Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller lead practice

Ma's lap of 1m51.032s, recorded in the second of Saturday morning's two practice sessions, was 0.028 seconds quicker than reigning champion Yvan Muller's practice one effort.

Last week's Goldenport meeting was the first round of the season in which a Citroen driver failed to achieve a victory, but the C-Elysees returned to their regular dominance at Shanghai, occupying four of the top six positions in practice one and four of the top five places in the second session.

Ma was 0.467s clear of championship leader and Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez in practice two.

Lopez holds a commanding 66-point lead in the drivers' standings with only three events remaining, and said he will be managing the risks this weekend in an attempt to clinch the championship before the notoriously unpredictable Macau finale.

"Even if it didn't look like it, already in Beijing I took my margins when overtaking," said Lopez. "I didn't risk as maybe I did in [the Argentinean round at] Termas or other races. But my mentality is going to be the same, which is to try to give my best."

Honda's Gabriele Tarquini trailed Muller by 0.213s to take a fine second place in the opening session, followed by Ma, Lopez and the second JAS driver Tiago Monteiro.

Rally legend Sebastien Loeb finished a relatively subdued sixth in the opening session before improving to take third place in practice two.

Mehdi Bennani surprised in practice two as he claimed top-Honda honours in fourth place ahead of Muller.

Beijing Goldenport winner Tom Chilton complained of a severe lack of straightline speed in the final sector during testing on Friday, but the Briton made a marked improvement in practice one to take seventh.

Campos Racing's Hugo Valente usurped Chilton as the leading Chevrolet performer in second practice and equalled Chilton's earlier seventh position.

Valente's team-mate Dusan Borkovic damaged a front-right wheel-arch during a spin during first practice. The Serbian had failed to complete a lap on Friday after his Cruze suffered a steering-pump failure, possibly related to a heavy shunt at Goldenport.

PRACTICE ONE:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.060s -
2 Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 1m51.273s 0.213s
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.326s 0.266s
4 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.588s 0.528s
5 Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 1m51.627s 0.567s
6 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.771s 0.711s
7 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m51.790s 0.730s
8 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m51.885s 0.825s
9 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m52.403s 1.343s
10 Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda 1m52.610s 1.550s
11 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m52.864s 1.804s
12 Dusan Borkovic NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m53.146s 2.086s
13 Gianni Morbidelli All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m53.736s 2.676s
14 Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m53.778s 2.718s
15 Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m53.900s 2.840s
16 Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m53.998s 2.938s
17 James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m54.526s 3.466s
18 Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 1m56.804s 5.744s
19 John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT 1m58.043s 6.983s
20 Filipe Souza Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 2m00.464s 9.404s
21 William Lok Campos Racing SEAT 2m01.481s 10.421s

PRACTICE TWO:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.032s -
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.499s 0.467s
3 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.541s 0.509s
4 Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda 1m51.618s 0.586s
5 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m51.662s 0.630s
6 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m51.695s 0.663s
7 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m51.796s 0.764s
8 Dusan Borkovic NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m51.812s 0.780s
9 Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 1m51.842s 0.810s
10 Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 1m52.096s 1.064s
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m52.245s 1.213s
12 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m52.685s 1.653s
13 James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m53.000s 1.968s
14 Gianni Morbidelli All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m53.248s 2.216s
15 Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m53.545s 2.513s
16 Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m53.931s 2.899s
17 Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1m54.933s 3.901s
18 Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 1m56.114s 5.082s
19 John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT 1m56.826s 5.794s
20 William Lok Campos Racing SEAT 2m00.416s 9.384s
21 Filipe Souza Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 2m00.462s 9.430s


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Shanghai WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez fastest on Friday for Citroen
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