José María López fastest in dry Nordschleife practice

José María López fastest in dry Nordschleife practice

37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.

37 LOPEZ Jose Maria (arg) Citroen C Elysee  team Citroen racing action during the 2015 FIA WTCC World Touring Car Race of Nurburgring, Germany from May 15th to 17th 2015. Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI.José María López put Citroën back to the top of the timesheets in second practice for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the Nürburgring, ahead of Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente in a dry and sunny session.

López rose to the top of the times around ten minutes into the hour-long session, posting first a time of 8:42.685. The reigning champion then went even quicker 20 minutes later, rising ahead of team-mates Yvan Muller and Ma Qing Hua, who had briefly enjoyed time at the top.

With around 15 minutes to go, Frenchman Valente then put in an impressive lap to go second, just 0.895 seconds behind the Citroën of López.

Sébastien Loeb also improved his time in the last 15 minutes of the session to go third, relegating Muller and Ma to fourth and fifth fastest respectively.

The top Honda driver was Gabriele Tarquini in sixth and the Italian was the last driver to be within three seconds of the overall pace.

LADA duo Rob Huff and Jaap Van Lagen were next up in seventh and eighth, both drivers clocking times within four seconds of the pace.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani was ninth fastest, with the Moroccan experiencing a more trouble-free session than in first practice, where he slid into the barriers on his out-lap. Completing the top ten was Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz.

The top 14 drivers were covered by less than ten seconds, with Tom Chilton in 11th, Tiago Monteiro 12th after a late improvement, Stefano D’Aste 13th and John Filippi in 14th.

Problems early on for Sabine Schmitz limited the Nordschleife specialists’ running. She sustained damage to the front-left wheel of her car but was able to limp back to the pits. With repairs made, she rejoined the session but could only post the 16th best time, 15.873 seconds off the pace.

Qualifying takes place at 18:20 CEST (17:20 BST).

Session results

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP
1 37 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 3 8:39.441 0.000
2 7 Y Hugo VALENTE Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 4 8:40.336 0.895
3 9 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 4 8:40.688 1.247
4 68 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 4 8:40.923 1.482
5 33 MA Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 3 8:42.192 2.751
6 2 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 4 8:42.273 2.832
7 12 Rob HUFF LADA Sport Rosneft LADA Vesta WTCC 3 8:42.840 3.399
8 46 Jaap VAN LAGEN LADA Sport Rosneft LADA Vesta WTCC 4 8:43.107 3.666
9 25 Y Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 4 8:44.408 4.967
10 5 Y Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 4 8:45.213 5.772
11 3 Y Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 4 8:45.322 5.881
12 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 3 8:46.620 7.179
13 26 Y Stefano D’ASTE ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 3 8:47.146 7.705
14 27 Y John FILIPPI Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 4 8:47.868 8.427
15 11 Y Grégoire DEMOUSTIER Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 3 8:55.231 15.790
16 8 Y Sabine SCHMITZ ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 4 8:55.314 15.873
17 4 Y Tom CORONEL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 2 8:58.284 18.843

Complete session results.