José María López set the fastest time in first practice for the World Touring Car Championship at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, with the session being red-flagged with two minutes to go due to a crash for Honda’s Rob Huff.
López’s time of 8 minutes 44.236 seconds was set inside the first 15 minutes on the Citroën racer’s first run, with most of the field only able to complete two or three laps in the hour-long session.
His team-mate Yvan Muller ended the session as second fastest thanks to a late lap that came just before the red flags flew, leaving the Frenchman 1.083 seconds adrift of his rival, who he had earlier beaten in the morning’s test session.
The independent Citroën of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton was third fastest, 1.389 seconds behind López, with the Brit having improved his time inside the final ten minutes, having earlier been close to the pace in fifth.
The session came to a close with just two minutes remaining, when Honda’s Huff, who was fifth fastest, went into the barriers after reporting a possible front-right suspension failure, although JAS Motorsport Team Principal Alessandro Mariani also alluded to a possible puncture.
With Huff’s Civic going heavily into the barriers on the right-hand side of the circuit, before bouncing back across into the barriers on the opposite side, his Honda team will have plenty of repair work to be getting on with overnight.
There was also a shunt for LADA’s Hugo Valente, with the Frenchman hitting the barriers 35 minutes into the session and damaging the rear of his car. Despite that, Valente had already posted a time good enough for tenth fastest, 6.5 seconds off the pace.
Whilst some drivers, including ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel, were able to improve their times from testing, due in part to a puncture in testing scuppering his lap, others failed to improve. Münnich Motorsport’s Sabine Schmitz was one of those, with the Nordschleife expert nearly two seconds slower than her time in testing.
Free Practice 2 takes place at 08:15 CEST (07:15 BST) on Friday, with qualifying at 12:45 CEST (11:45 BST).
|1||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||2||8:44.236||0.000|
|2||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||8:45.319||1.083|
|3||3||T||Tom CHILTON||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||8:45.625||1.389|
|4||10||Nicky CATSBURG||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||3||8:46.646||2.410|
|5||12||Rob HUFF||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||2||8:46.985||2.749|
|6||5||Norbert MICHELISZ||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||3||8:47.484||3.248|
|7||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||3||8:47.613||3.377|
|8||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda Civic WTCC||2||8:49.048||4.812|
|9||25||T||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||8:49.543||5.307|
|10||9||T||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||5||8:50.527||6.291|
|11||7||Hugo VALENTE||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||1||8:50.823||6.587|
|12||62||Thed BJÖRK||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 WTCC||3||8:53.386||9.150|
|13||61||Fredrik EKBLOM||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo S60 WTCC||2||8:53.451||9.215|
|14||8||T||Sabine SCHMITZ||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||3||8:57.270||13.034|
|15||27||T||John FILIPPI||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||2||9:02.487||18.251|
|16||55||T||Ferenc FICZA||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||3||9:08.583||24.347|
|17||11||T||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||3||9:10.611||26.375|