Photo: Citroën Racing

José María López leads Sébastien Loeb at Friday test in France

Citroën Total WTCC driver José María López led the 30 minute test session at the Paul Ricard circuit ahead of team-mate Sébastien Loeb, with Zengõ Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz third for Honda and Campos Racing driver Hugo Valente fourth in his Chevrolet Cruze.

The first ever official session at the Paul Ricard circuit in southern France saw López and Loeb swapping times at the front throughout the session, with López coming out on top with a final flyer, finishing the session just under two-tenths of a second clear of his team-mate.

The Citroën top three was spoiled by both a Honda and a Chevrolet, with times from Norbert Michelisz and Hugo Valente both within a second of López’s time.

Reigning champion Yvan Muller was a distant fifth, 1.2 seconds down as he shakes down his repaired C-Elysée which was damaged last weekend in Marrakech.

Gianni Morbidelli was the second quickest of the Chevrolets, putting his Münnich Motorsport-run Cruze in sixth, with the works Honda of Tiago Monteiro seventh, 1.5 seconds down on López’s time.

The ROAL Chevrolet of Tom Chilton, the Campos Chevrolet of Dusan Borkovic, and the repaired JAS Motorsport Honda Civic of Gabriele Tarquini rounded out the top ten.

The best placed of the Lada drivers was Rob Huff, 2.8 seconds off the pace in 13th, while Franz Engstler was the fastest driver in the TC2T class, 16th overall and 5.7 seconds down on the class leading Citroën of López.

The next session is FP1, which takes place at 9:15 CET tomorrow.