Photo: Citroën Racing

Yvan Muller leads Citroën top three in second practice in Slovakia

Yvan Muller emerged as the fastest driver ahead of qualifying for the sixth weekend of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship, leading Citroën team-mates José María López and Sébastien Loeb in the session which was red flagged with six minutes to go.

Muller’s best time was set on his first flying lap in the 30-minute session. His time of 2:05.057 was never bettered, and for the first half of the session was a full 1.5 seconds clear of his nearest competitor, the Honda of Gabriele Tarquini.

Sébastien Loeb, who’d struggled in first practice, then moved up to second in his Citroën C-Elysée, with team-mate Ma Qing Hua also improving to third quickest, but the Chinese driver’s lap was soon disallowed by the race officials after he was deemed to have exceeded track limits.

With ten minutes to go, José María López then set the second fastest time, just over a tenth of a second behind Muller, while Hugo Valente put his Campos Racing Chevrolet Cruze fourth, just within half a second.

The red flags were soon out after Grégoire Demoustier went off in his Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet at Turn 2, collecting the barriers in the process. After a short delay, the session was restarted and Rob Huff was the only driver to make a notable improvement during the final six minutes, emerging as the fastest Lada in fifth after demoting team-mate Nicky Catsburg to sixth.

Mehdi Bennani was seventh fastest in the Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën, with the two ROAL Motorsport Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel eighth and ninth, with Gabriele Tarquini the fastest Honda in tenth.

Mat’o Homola’s WTCC debut continued to be hit with problems as the Slovakian’s Chevrolet’s rear brakes locked and it was unable to be moved into its pit box for some time during the session. As a result, he finished the session 19th and last.

Qualifying is next up and takes place at 15:00 CET.