Citroën’s José María López scored pole position in qualifying for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente an impressive second quickest.
López was imperious throughout the session, going straight to the top of the times and remaining unchallenged thereafter. The Argentine completed three flying laps, going progressively faster on each occasion to ensure his rivals were always one step behind. In the end his best time was a lap of 8 minutes 37.327 seconds, putting him comfortably on pole for the third time in 2015.
Valente was also quick in the session, continuing the strong from which took him to second fastest in second free practice. The Frenchman ended up just 1.252 seconds slower than López, and he was able to deny third-placed Sébastien Loeb from creating an all-Citroën front row.
Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz was fourth, with the Hungarian driver being one of the quickest drivers throughout the session, ending up six tenths slower than Loeb.
Ma Qing Hua was fifth, despite the Chinese driver being the only driver who crashed out in the hour-long session, putting his Citroën in the barriers in the second sector. He was still ahead of team-mate Yvan Muller, who ended the session in sixth, 4.029 seconds off the pace.
Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani was seventh fastest, but will have a five-place grid penalty for race one due to an engine change.
Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini qualified in eighth, 6.168 seconds off the pace.
Completing the top ten and thus taking front-row grid positions for race two were ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel and Honda’s Tiago Monteiro. Coronel will receive a five-place grid penalty for race one, dropping him to 14th, but the penalty is only applied to race one.
Just missing out on pole position for race two was Tom Chilton in 11th, with the ROAL Motorsport driver missing out by less than a tenth.
Campos Racing’s John Filippi was 12th, making it the Frenchman’s best qualifying result to-date.
Nordschleife expert Sabine Schmitz failed to shine in qualifying, struggling to 15th fastest and ending up 11.847 seconds off the pace, despite posting her best lap of the weekend so far.
LADA suffered a disastrous qualifying session, with experienced Nordschleife racers Rob Huff and Jaap Van Lagen both suffering mechanical problems in the sessions, curtailing their running. Huff was 13th fastest after completing one lap before stopping on track, whilst Van Lagen was slowest of all in 17th after crawling back to the pits with problems.
|1||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||8:37.327||0.000|
|2||7||Y||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:38.579||1.252|
|3||9||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||8:39.935||2.608|
|4||5||Y||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||4||8:40.595||3.268|
|5||33||MA Qing Hua||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||2||8:41.252||3.925|
|6||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||2||8:41.356||4.029|
|7||25||Y||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||1||8:42.565||5.238|
|8||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||2||8:43.495||6.168|
|9||4||Y||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:43.646||6.319|
|10||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||4||8:43.723||6.396|
|11||3||Y||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:43.808||6.481|
|12||27||Y||John FILIPPI||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||4||8:44.632||7.305|
|13||12||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||1||8:45.685||8.358|
|14||26||Y||Stefano D’ASTE||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:47.370||10.043|
|15||8||Y||Sabine SCHMITZ||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:49.174||11.847|
|16||11||Y||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||Craft-Bamboo Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:52.581||15.254|
|17||46||Jaap VAN LAGEN||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||1||13:24.993||47.666|