WTCC Argentina: Sebastien Loeb fastest in opening test

Citroen's fleet of C-Elysees dominated the timesheets in testing for the opening round of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship in Argentina

Sebastien Loeb went quickest of all on 1m54.132s, edging out team-mates Yvan Muller and Jose Maria Lopez.

Tiago Monteiro was the fastest of the non-Citroen runners, hustling his Honda Civic around the 2.86 mile Termas De Rio Hondo circuit in 1m55.913s, 1.781 seconds off the leader's pace but fractionally faster than Citroen's new full-time signing Ma Qing Hua and semi-works driver Mehdi Bennani.

Hugo Valente set the Chevrolet pace for Campos Racing, seventh overall on 1m56.159s, 0.041s ahead of James Thompson in the fastest of the new Lada Vestas.

Although the Citroens were comfortably quicker than their rivals, damp track conditions clouded the competitive picture. This summer has been unusually wet in central Argentina - the nearby Cordoba province has suffered its heaviest flooding in 50 years - and overnight rain left the circuit thoroughly doused.

Conditions remained overcast and humid during the 30-minute session but traces of a dry line emerged in places, and the majority of the field set their fastest times on their final laps.

The notable exception was Monteiro, who clocked his quickest time on the last of a five-lap opening run, completing 10 laps in total.


Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m54.132s -
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m54.408s 0.276s
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m54.831s 0.699s
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m55.913s 1.781s
5 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m55.978s 1.846s
6 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m56.058s 1.926s
7 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m56.159s 2.027s
8 James Thompson LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m56.200s 2.068s
9 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m56.321s 2.189s
10 Dusan Borkovic Proteam Racing Honda 1m56.435s 2.303s
11 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m56.438s 2.306s
12 Stefano D'Aste Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m56.734s 2.602s
13 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m56.934s 2.802s
14 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m56.964s 2.832s
15 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m57.107s 2.975s
16 Rickard Rydell Nika International Honda 1m57.352s 3.220s
17 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m57.617s 3.485s
18 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m01.487s 7.355s


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