Photo: Citroën Racing

José Maríá López tops wet FP1 in Hungary at Sébastien Loeb crashes out

Citroën Racing’s José María López dominated the first free practice session for the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the Hungaroring, which took place in wet conditions, while team-mate and closest points rival Sébastien Loeb was in trouble early on, crashing out and causing heavy damage to his C-Elysée WTCC.

Loeb lost control of his car on his first flying lap heading into Turn 1, hitting the tyre barrier with damage to the front-left corner of his Citroën. The Frenchman declared the conditions were too tricky and he just lost control of the car.

The session was red flagged for 15 minutes as Loeb’s car was recovered and brought back to the pits for the team to start work on it ahead of Free Practice 2, which is provisionally scheduled for 11:30 CET.

When the session restarted, López set the first target lap and remained fastest throughout the session, continuously improving his times, starting with a 2:14.439 and working down to a 2:11.651 by the end of the session, over 1.5 seconds clear of his closest rival.

Closest to López were the two factory Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, both making late improvements to finish ahead of the Citroën of Yvan Muller, with Norbert Michelisz, the only other Honda in the race this weekend, fifth fastest in the privateer Zengő Motorsport entry in front of an already gathering and keen home crowd.

The fastest of the Chevrolet drivers was Stefano D’Aste, despite receiving a warning for continuously breaching track limits. James Thompson was the fastest of the Lada drivers in 12th, with the weather playing its part in considerably spreading out the field.