Thailand WTCC: Lopez tops red-flagged FP1
WTCC champion-elect Jose Maria Lopez led the way in the first free practice session of the penultimate round in Buriram, Thailand.
The Argentinian set his benchmark just in time, a handful of seconds before the session was interrupted due to Lada's Nicolas Lapierre crashing out.
Mehdi Bennani, who led most of the session, came home second, with Citroen's Sebastien Loeb completing a 1-2-3 for the French manufacturer.
Testing pace-setter Norbert Michelisz came fourth, despite looking competitive for a top three result, ahead of fellow Honda driver Gabriele Tarquini, with Nicky Catsburg sixth for Lada.
Tiago Monteiro took seventh for Honda ahead of Hugo Valente's Campos Racing Chevrolet, with Ma Qing Hua and Rob Huff completing the top ten.
Championship contender Yvan Muller finished just outside the top ten in 11th, but the Frenchman was not able to complete a representative lap before the session was interrupted.
A number of drivers, including local hero Tin Sritrai as well as Gregoire Demoustier and Lapierre, had laps deleted for track limits offences.
|1||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||1'40.074|
|9||Ma Qing Hua||Citroen||1'41.513||1.439|
Pietro Casillo / TouringCarTimes
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