Photo: TouringCarTimes

Sébastien Loeb on top after morning test session in Barcelona

Citroën Total WTCC’s Sébastien Loeb clocked the fastest time in the morning part of the first official FIA World Touring Car Championship test ahead the season opening round in Argentina next month, leading his own team’s driver, Mehdi Bennani.

Loeb, the only driver testing for the factory Citroën team today, set a time of 1:49.972 around the Circuit de Catalunya, just under a second clear of Bennani’s Citroën.

The fastest of the Honda drivers was Tiago Monteiro, just four-thousandths of a second ahead of his Honda Racing Team JAS team-mate Gabeiel Tarquini.

John Filippi was next quickest in his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze, ahead of the Zengő Motorsport Honda of Norbert Michelisz, with Hugo Valente seventh in the second of the Campos Chevrolets.

This test is only the third day of testing for the Citroën team during the winter break, with Yvan Muller and José María López having tested for one day each last week at Valencia.

The only other driver present at today’s test is Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste, but there are no times recorded for the Italian due to a transponder issue. Testing continues this afternoon after a lunch break.