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Timeline to triumph: how López went from zero to WTCC hero

Timeline to triumph: how López went from zero to WTCC hero

17/02/2017 12:00

Three-time FIA World Touring Car Championship winner José María López will be taking to the streets of Argentina’s capital tomorrow (18 February) when he continues his FIA Formula E adventure in the Buenos Aires ePrix. Here’s a reminder of the key dates and times when López made his first appearance in another major FIA championship on home soil, WTCC Race of Argentina back in 2013.

14h00, 2 August 2013: The WTCC story begins as López goes on track with this World Touring Car rivals for the first time in testing at Termas de Río Hondo. He gets on just fine, clocking P11 in his Wiechers-Sport BMW.

10h13, 3 August 2013: Things get serious. Not only does Pechito top the independent classification in Free Practice 1, he’s fourth fastest overall. Wow.

16h35, 3 August 2013: Qualifying brings more hope. While P10 hardly points to his future penchant for poles (his current tally totals 21), it translates as top spot for race two.

09h15, 4 August 2013: López’s rivals get another wake-up call when he goes fastest of all by seven-tenths in morning Warm-up. Could a shock be on the cards?

14h41, 4 August 2013: Fifth place and top independent finisher represent job well done for López, who makes a big impact in his first WTCC race.

16h18, 4 August 2013: The moment has come as the lights go out to signal the start of race two. López doesn’t falter from pole and leads Tiago Monteiro by almost two seconds at the end of the opening lap. The fans go wild.

16h39, 4 August 2013: In ambient temperatures nearing 25 degrees centigrade, Argentina has its first winner of a WTCC event as López sprints to a comfortable victory, the first of 29 as things stand. It’s party time in Termas de Río Hondo and Pechito’s career is firmly back on track.

Norbert Michelisz has received yet more silverware. Twenty-four hours after picking up his trophy for finishing runner-up in the FIA World Touring Car Championship at the FIA Prize Giving event in Paris, the Hungarian was honoured a little closer to home.

The top three drivers in the 2017 FIA World Touring Car Championship were honoured in Paris on Friday evening when the stunning Château de Versailles hosted the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony.

FIA World Touring Car Championship promoter Eurosport Events has broken with tradition by awarding the prestigious WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy to not one but two drivers after Polestar Cyan Racing’s factory duo, Thed Björk and Nicky Catsburg, tamed planet earth’s toughest race track in spectacular fashion back in May.

Jean Todt has been re-elected as President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) at the organisation’s General Assembly in Paris today.

Thed Björk will be crowned FIA World Touring Car champion for 2017 at the FIA Prize Giving in Paris this evening. Here are some facts about Polestar Cyan Racing’s swift Swede.

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will be replaced from 2018 with new technical regulations, a new format and a new name following a vote of approval by the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris yesterday (6 December).