Slovakia Ring WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller lead practice

Citroen's Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller headed the first two 2015 World Touring Car Championship practice sessions at the Slovakia Ring, establishing a clear margin from rival machinery

Slovakia Ring WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller lead practice

In a dry but largely inconsequential first session, Lopez set the benchmark lap 2m05.201s with his first flyer, and none of his rivals appeared to mount a serious challenge to it as they focused on their programmes.

Rob Huff, second fastest overall in the Lada Vesta, was 0.716s off.

Clouds gathered during the interval between sessions and the ambient temperature dropped.

Having been seventh quickest in the first session, Lopez's team-mate Muller flew out of the gates in session two with a 2m05.057s that would stand as the fastest until the chequered flag, aided by rain in the closing minutes.

The second session was briefly red-flagged after Gregoire Demoustier went off at the fast, sweeping Turn 2 and made side-on contact with the barrier in his Chevrolet Cruze.

Lopez and Sebastien Loeb made it a Citroen 1-2-3 in session two with late efforts in their C-Elysees, 0.111s and 0.163s off Muller's fastest lap.

Their factory Citroen team-mate Ma Qing Hua had been third fastest in the opening practice session, but was 14th in the second after his fastest time - which would have been good enough for fourth place - was disallowed because he exceeded the track limits at Turn 9 while setting it.

That left independent runner Hugo Valente fourth for Chevrolet, 0.478s down on Muller.

Huff narrowed his margin to the fastest Citroen to 0.493s in the second session, but with more competition this time around he was classified fifth, just ahead of team-mate Nicky Catsburg and Citroen satellite entrant Mehdi Bennani.

In spite of limited running, a consequence of departing the track at high speed at Turn 1 in the opening session after picking up a puncture, Tom Chilton was eighth fastest in the second session.

Honda's Civics are carrying 60kg of compensation weight this weekend and made little progress from one session to the next. Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest Honda driver in both, but his best lap in the latter session was slower than the first and he slid from fifth to 10th in the overall order.

PRACTICE 1 TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m05.201s - 9
2 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m05.917s 0.716s 10
3 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m06.139s 0.938s 10
4 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m06.189s 0.988s 11
5 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.252s 1.051s 8
6 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m06.360s 1.159s 10
7 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m06.367s 1.166s 9
8 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.462s 1.261s 9
9 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.473s 1.272s 5
10 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 2m06.475s 1.274s 11
11 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m06.585s 1.384s 12
12 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m06.597s 1.396s 10
13 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m06.740s 1.539s 8
14 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m06.843s 1.642s 10
15 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m07.062s 1.861s 10
16 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m07.093s 1.892s 11
17 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m08.057s 2.856s 9
18 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m08.182s 2.981s 10
19 Mat'o Homola Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m09.517s 4.316s 11

PRACTICE 2 TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m05.057s - 9
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m05.168s 0.111s 9
3 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m05.220s 0.163s 9
4 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m05.535s 0.478s 9
5 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m05.550s 0.493s 9
6 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m05.820s 0.763s 11
7 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m05.974s 0.917s 11
8 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.153s 1.096s 4
9 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.326s 1.269s 10
10 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.600s 1.543s 11
11 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m06.842s 1.785s 3
12 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m06.886s 1.829s 11
13 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m06.955s 1.898s 10
14 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m06.982s 1.925s 11
15 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m07.195s 2.138s 9
16 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 2m07.667s 2.610s 9
17 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m07.822s 2.765s 6
18 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m07.993s 2.936s 10
19 Mat'o Homola Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m10.925s 5.868s 3

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