José María López dominates FP1 in Hungary

Citroën Total WTCC’s José María López was fastest of all in the first free practice session on Saturday, setting the best time of the weekend in the final minutes of the session, and was more than 1.2 seconds faster than team-mate Yvan Muller.

On a damp track due to overnight rain, the fastest time changed places throughout the session, with the Citroën drivers all sharing P1 between them, with the Hondas and the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet of Tom Chilton occasionally getting close.

In the final ten minutes of the session, the cars were now faster than the pace seen in the dry conditions on Friday in testing, with Yvan Muller the first to break into the 1:50s in his Citroën C-Elysée WTCC.

He was followed shortly by José María López, the first Citroën driver to run on new tyres so far this weekend, and the Argentinian went fastest of all, breaking into the 1:49s with a time of 1:49.494, 1.2 seconds clear of Muller, whose time was set on used tyres.

Tom Chilton was third in the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet, with Tiago Monteiro the top placed Honda driver in fourth, both just one and a half seconds down on López’s pace.

Sébastien Loeb was the third fastest of the Citroëns in fifth, just ahead of the two Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Mehdi Bennani.

Home hero Norbert Michelisz rounded out the top ten.

The Lada Grantas were again struggling, with the team’s drivers reported various handling problems yesterday with their cars. Rob Huff led the Lada trio, which propped up the time sheets for the TC1 class in 14th, 15th and 16th positions.

Franz Engstler led the way in the TC2T class, 1.4 seconds ahead of Liqui Moly Team Engstler team-mate Pasquale Di Sabatino. Yukinori Taniguchi was third fastest in the Honda Civic, with John Filippi last in the Campos Racing SEAT.

Free Practice 2 follows at 12:00 CET.