Citroën’s Loeb and López excluded from qualifying in France
Sébastien Loeb and José María López have lost their front row positions for tomorrow’s WTCC race at Paul Ricard after the automatic fuel cut-off system didn’t function correctly in scrutineering. The two drivers will now start from the back of the grid for both races, promoting their team-mate Yvan Muller to pole ahead of Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini.
The team have confirmed that the system has functioned correctly on Yvan Muller’s car, and so the reigning champion will be promoted to first, but with all of Loeb’s and López’s times being deleted from qualifying, the two drivers will start 17th and 18th on the grid for both of tomorrow’s races.
The breach is not performance enhancing in nature, but of a safety system which is in place to cut off the fuel if there is a leak, covered in Article 253 3.3 of Appendix J, which states:
Article 253 3.3
All fuel feed pipes going to the engine must be provided with automatic cut-off valves located directly on the fuel tank which automatically close all the fuel lines under pressure if one of these lines in the fuel system is fractured or leaks.
The team have confirmed that they will not be appealing the decision.
The result also changes the grid for race two, with Mehdi Bennani now securing pole position for race two ahead of René Münnich.
Revised result from qualifying