Citroën’s local superstar and World Touring Car Championship leader José María López was the fastest driver in Friday testing at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo, beating team-mate Yvan Muller by just 0.016 seconds.
Argentine López had been second fastest for much of the session, but went fastest in the closing seconds of the session to deny title rival Muller the top time. The session had just minutes earlier been red-flagged.
Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini improved his time at the restart to go third fastest, 0.089 seconds off the pace.
Sébastien Loeb was fourth fastest, failing to improve his time at the end of the session. The former rally star had been fastest for much of the session with his time of 1:44.641 set inside the first ten minutes.
The works Honda of Tiago Monteiro was fifth fastest, ahead of the independent Proteam Racing Civic of Mehdi Bennani in sixth. The duo were the last drivers to be within a second off the pace set by López.
The top Chevrolet was Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente in seventh, ahead of ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton in eighth.
Both LADAs of Rob Huff and James Thompson made it into the top ten, with the Brits around two seconds off the pace.
On his WTCC début, local driver Camilo Echevarría was the quickest driver in the TC2T class, two tenths ahead of team-mate Franz Engstler.
Failing to participate in the session was Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz, after the Hungarian driver experienced difficulties in his flight to Argentina yesterday.
Top ten times
|1||37||TC1||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||12||1:44.254||0.000|
|2||1||TC1||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||1:44.270||0.016|
|3||2||TC1||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||13||1:44.343||0.089|
|4||9||TC1||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||1:44.641||0.387|
|5||18||TC1||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||14||1:44.894||0.640|
|6||25||TC1||Mehdi BENNANI||Proteam Racing||Honda Civic WTCC||14||1:45.201||0.947|
|7||7||TC1||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||15||1:45.592||1.338|
|8||3||TC1||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||1:45.949||1.695|
|9||12||TC1||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Lukoil||LADA Granta 1.6T||13||1:46.211||1.957|
|10||11||TC1||James THOMPSON||LADA Sport Lukoil||LADA Granta 1.6T||14||1:46.340||2.086|