Jose Maria Lopez Clinches Home Pole Position in Argentina


Points' leader Lopez will lead the field to the line in his home race (Credit: fiawtcc.com)

World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez secured pole position at his home round in Argentina with a commanding display in qualifying.

Lopez set a time in the Q3 shootout that was four tenths of a second faster than Citroen team-mate and nearest rival Yvan Muller.

It gave Lopez his fourth pole position of the campaign – one more than four-time champion Muller has acheieved ao far.

Sebastien Loeb slotted into third in the remaining Citroen as he makes his first racing appearance in the country where he scored the last of his 78 World Rally Championship wins last May.

The Honda Civics were a threat to the Citroen dominance throughout Saturday’s running. It was Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro who represented the Japanese marque in the final shootout, but the pair had to settle for fourth and fifth respectively.

Tom Chilton missed out on a Q3 berth in his Chevrolet by only half a tenth with a late lap in Q2 that put him sixth, demoting Gabriele Tarquini to seventh.

Mehdi Bennani was eighth in his Proteam Honda ahead of Campos Chevrolet driver Hugo Valente.

Rob Huff used a revised Lada Granta to first make it into Q2 and then used a single lap to clinch tenth place and the reverse grid pole for race two.

Tom Coronel and Rene Munnich completed the Q2 12, with James ThompsonDusan Borkovic and Gianni Morbidelli eliminated at the end of the first segment.