WTCC Vila Real: Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller on top in practice

Citroens had the edge in practice for the inaugural World Touring Car races at Vila Real as Yvan Muller and Jose Maria Lopez went fastest in the two sessions

WTCC Vila Real: Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller on top in practice

Muller's 2m00.749s from the opening session stood as the fastest until midway through the second, when he was usurped by team-mates Ma Qing Hua, Sebastien Loeb, and then finally Lopez.

The world champion eclipsed Loeb's time by 0.274s but narrowly missed out on breaking the two-minute mark, lapping in 2m00.155s.

Norbert Michelisz was third, and fastest of the Hondas, in the first session, but Argentine Super TC2000 champion Nestor Girolami took that honour in FP2, using fresh tyres to come within thousandths of a second of displacing Loeb.

Tiago Monteiro was the quickest of the works Honda drivers, fifth overall and half a second down on Lopez, while the best Muller could summon in FP2 left him sixth, 0.592s off his team-mate.

Lada's Vestas have struggled for pace around Vila Real thus far, and the strain of extracting performance from the car started to show as both Jaap van Lagen and Nicky Catsburg fell foul of the stewards.

Van Lagen, who had already been cautioned over respecting track limits in first practice, had two flying laps scratched for repeat offences at the Turn 19 chicane and was then black-flagged.

Catsburg was shown the black-and-white flag but kept his nose clean thereafter.

Rob Huff was the fastest of the Lada trio in both sessions, and seventh quickest in FP2, but half a second slower than sixth-placed Muller and 1.184s adrift of Lopez.

Tom Coronel, who was also cautioned over track limits, was the quickest of the Chevrolet runners in FP2, ninth overall, neatly matching Campos Chevrolet driver Hugo Valente's position in the pecking order in FP1.

The first practice session was largely incident-free until the final minute.

Both Huff and Girolami had harmless slides, and Coronel had a wheelarch liner work loose, but the session had to be stopped with just over a minute left on the clock when Gabriele Tarquini slammed into the back of Tom Chilton's Chevrolet at Turn 6.

A furious Tarquini accused Chilton, who had been on an out-lap, of dawdling on the racing line, but the stewards took a different view and handed the Italian a reprimand.

PRACTICE ONE:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.749s - 9
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.833s 0.084s 8
3 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m00.909s 0.160s 9
4 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.964s 0.215s 9
5 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m01.353s 0.604s 10
6 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m01.399s 0.650s 9
7 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m01.527s 0.778s 9
8 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 2m01.799s 1.050s 9
9 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m02.057s 1.308s 10
10 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m02.551s 1.802s 9
11 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m02.684s 1.935s 10
12 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m02.809s 2.060s 10
13 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m03.289s 2.540s 10
14 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m03.319s 2.570s 10
15 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m03.888s 3.139s 9
16 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m05.192s 4.443s 10
17 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m05.399s 4.650s 8
18 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m07.581s 6.832s 11

PRACTICE TWO:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.155s - 12
2 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.429s 0.274s 11
3 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 2m00.434s 0.279s 9
4 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.574s 0.419s 11
5 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m00.675s 0.520s 11
6 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2m00.747s 0.592s 9
7 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m01.339s 1.184s 11
8 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 2m01.412s 1.257s 11
9 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m01.455s 1.300s 11
10 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 2m01.766s 1.611s 7
11 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 2m01.869s 1.714s 11
12 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m01.879s 1.724s 9
13 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 2m02.912s 2.757s 10
14 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m03.146s 2.991s 10
15 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m03.194s 3.039s 11
16 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 2m03.209s 3.054s 7
17 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m05.045s 4.890s 11
18 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m05.148s 4.993s 12

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