More glory for WTCC champion López

More glory for WTCC champion López

02/01/2016 12:00

WTCC champion José María López has been winning again, this time topping a prestigious poll of top touring car talents.

López, who made it back-to-back FIA World Touring Car Championship crowns in 2015, was voted TouringCarTimes’ driver of the year by the website’s writers, tying for top spot with Australian V8 Supercar winner Mark Winterbottom.

The Citroën-driving Argentine equalled his record of 10 wins in one season and claimed the DHL Pole Position Award seven times on his way to WTCC title glory last season.

Justifying the 32-year-old’s top billing, TouringCarTimes wrote: “Another stellar year from the reigning champion, and even when he was put under pressure for results during the middle of the season, he never showed signs of letting it faze him. His resolve saw him replicate his 10 wins record from 2014 and the likeable Argentinian is now firmly set as a modern touring car legend after just two years racing tin tops in Europe.”

Other WTCC drivers to feature in the top 30 list included Yvan Muller (fifth), Norbert Michelisz (P11), Gabriele Tarquini (P13), Sébastien Loeb (P14), Tiago Monteiro (P17), Hugo Valente (P20) and Rob Huff (P24). Meanwhile, Thed Björk, who will form part of Polestar Cyan Racing’s WTCC attack in 2016, was P12 following his third Swedish championship triumph in 2015.

José María López will complete his three-year stint as a factory driver in the FIA World Touring Car Championship when the 2016 season concludes in Qatar next month. The Citroën driver picks out five of the wins that have mattered most.

New for 2016, the TAG Heuer Best Lap Trophy has further intensified the level of competition in the FIA World Touring Car Championship with drivers vying for the prize – and an engraved TAG Heuer watch – at each round of the WTCC.

Polestar Cyan Racing’s breakthrough FIA World Touring Car Championship victory in China last month has been described as a “morale booster” but one that won’t change the Volvo factory team’s approach for the remainder of 2016 and beyond.

Hugo Valente used the pre-event press conference for WTCC Race of China last month to outline his hopes of continuing with the factory LADA team in 2017.

FIA World Touring Car Championship squad ROAL Motorsport played a key role as Alex Zanardi bagged an emotional comeback victory in the Italian GT finale at Mugello yesterday.

José María López isn’t the first driver to celebrate winning the FIA World Touring Car Championship three years in a row.