José María López fastest in Shanghai testing

José María López set the best time of the session just under the flag for the testing session of the World Touring Car Championship in Shanghai. The Argentinian was two tenths quicker than team-mate and title rival Yvan Muller, who led the session until the very last moments when López’s Citroën C-Elysée crossed the finish line. A late improvement from Norbert Michelisz saw the Hungarian come third, three tenths shy of the lead.

The session has been substantially smooth, and drivers took it easy to find their limit as they got to grips with the Chinese track first. Muller led straight away from Citroën team-mates Sébastien Loeb and Ma Qing Hua.

As the session went on, however, the lap times naturally started to drop, eventually coming close to breaking the 1’50 barrier. Loeb ended up fourth, half a second off the lead, ahead of Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini.

Ma came sixth ahead of Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani. The Moroccan was almost two tenths quicker than fellow Honda driver Tiago Monteiro. Hugo Valente and Tom Chilton completed the top ten, the two being the leading Chevrolet drivers.

The Lada drivers occupied places from 11th to 13th, with James Thompson, Rob Huff and Mikhail Kozlovskiy in the order.

The WTCC will resume track activity tomorrow at 8.10 CST for the first Free Practice session.