Citroën’s Ma Qing Hua posted the fastest lap time in second practice for the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at Circuit Paul Ricard, ahead of Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Grégoire Demoustier in second.
Chinese racer Ma rose to the top of the times half-way through the session, posting a time of 1:30.029 to go nine tenths faster than the best time from first practice.
Demoustier was a surprise second quickest, using his local knowledge to good effect to improve his time with around ten minutes to go. The Frenchman has more experience of the circuit than any other driver, and ended up 0.209 seconds slower than Ma in his Chevrolet.
ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel and Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente made it a trio of Chevrolets in the top four, having both improved their times half-way through practice.
Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani was fifth fastest, ahead of the second ROAL car of Tom Chilton in sixth.
Sébastien Loeb headed team-mate Yvan Muller, with the French duo in seventh and eighth respectively, with the latter posting an identical time to Honda’s Tiago Monteiro, who was classified in ninth after setting his time afterwards.
Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste completed the top ten, leaving championship leader José María López with the 11th fastest time, over a second off the pace.
Several drivers were warned for exceeding the track limits, with the most issues occurring at Turn 5, where Monteiro, López and Michelisz all experienced difficulty staying on the track.
John Filippi ended the session 12th fastest, having experienced a high-speed spin approaching turn six. The Campos driver’s car was undamaged thanks to the large run-off areas around the circuit.
It was a challenging session for all three LADA drivers, who propped up the timesheets. Jaap van Lagen was 16th fastest, almost two seconds off the pace, ahead of team-mates Rob Huff and Nicky Catsburg.
Qualifying takes place at 15:00 CEST (14:00 BST).
|1||33||MA Qing Hua||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||1:30.029||0.000|
|2||11||Y||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||Craft-Bamboo Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||10||1:30.348||0.319|
|3||4||Y||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||14||1:30.460||0.431|
|4||7||Y||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||1:30.578||0.549|
|5||25||Y||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||1:30.720||0.691|
|6||3||Y||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||1:30.728||0.699|
|7||9||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||12||1:30.845||0.816|
|8||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||11||1:30.892||0.863|
|9||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||11||1:30.892||0.863|
|10||26||Y||Stefano D’ASTE||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||15||1:31.147||1.118|
|11||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||12||1:31.227||1.198|
|12||27||Y||John FILIPPI||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||1:31.400||1.371|
|13||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||14||1:31.826||1.797|
|14||5||Y||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||11||1:31.910||1.881|
|15||19||Rickard RYDELL||Nika International||Honda Civic WTCC||11||1:31.947||1.918|
|16||46||Jaap VAN LAGEN||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||11||1:31.989||1.960|
|17||12||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||13||1:32.271||2.242|
|18||10||Nick CATSBURG||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||10||1:32.903||2.874|