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Sébastien Loeb beats José María López to top in second practice

Citroën were again top of the times in second practice for the World Touring Car Championship at the Salzburgring, with Sébastien Loeb beating José María López to the fastest lap.

Loeb put in a fast lap with just four minutes remaining to depose Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli from the top of the timesheets, with López moving up to second in the closing minutes.

Morbidelli ended the session in fourth as the top Chevrolet, ahead of the fastest Honda of Gabriele Tarquini in fifth, with the Italian being the last driver within a second of Frenchman Loeb.

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Tom Coronel was fifth fastest in his Chevrolet, ahead of Mehdi Bennani’s Proteam Honda and ROAL Motorsport team-mate Tom Chilton in eighth.

Dušan Borković and Tiago Monteiro completed the top ten for Campos Racing and Honda respectively, with the Portugese the last driver within a second of Loeb.

The session had to be red-flagged for some time after just seven minutes when Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente had a heavy crash at the Ostschleife curve, heavily damaging the front end of his Chevrolet. The Frenchman is not expected to be able to take part in qualifying.

“I had big oversteer and then when trying to control it the car just had the grip again and I went straight into the barrier on the left,” said Valente of his crash. “Once I had that big oversteer I think there was nothing much I could do – I tried to brake, I tried to release the gas, but once the grip of the car came back I went straight into the barrier.

“It’s the worst time right now because qualifying is in two hours – I don’t think we’re going to take part. I hope maybe we can race tomorrow but that’s not sure yet.”

There were also further problems for LADA’s Mikhail Kozlovskiy, who pulled off the circuit in the last five minutes with suspected technical issues. The Russian, along with team-mate James Thompson, already faces a penalty of starting at the back of the grid due to the team having changed the engines on each car outside the permitted period of the first four meetings of the season.

In addition to the penalty of starting at the back of the grid, Thompson has also been retrospectively excluded from the results of the last two meetings at the Hungaroring and Slovakiaring. The exclusion comes as a result of officials finding an unauthorised break to the seal on his engine’s oil sump.

Qualifying takes place at 14:30 CEST (13:30 BST).

Top ten times

1 9 TC1 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 16 1:22.421 0.000
2 37 TC1 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 1:22.570 0.149
3 1 TC1 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 1:22.634 0.213
4 10 TC1 Gianni MORBIDELLI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 1:22.778 0.357
5 2 TC1 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 16 1:22.846 0.425
6 4 TC1 Tom CORONEL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 13 1:22.931 0.510
7 25 TC1 Mehdi BENNANI Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC 19 1:23.045 0.624
8 3 TC1 Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 1:23.130 0.709
9 98 TC1 Dušan BORKOVIĆ NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 15 1:23.197 0.776
10 18 TC1 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 16 1:23.346 0.925

Complete session results

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