Reigning FIA World Touring Car champion José María López will start from pole position for the series’ inaugural race at the Nürburgring Nordschliefe on Saturday.

The Argentine lapped progressively quicker in the one-hour special qualifying session on Friday afternoon, posting an eventual lap time of 8:37.327 around the 25-kilometre circuit.

While manay expected the field’s five Citroëns to dominate proceedings in qualifying, there were surprise performances from two Independent Trophy runners.

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente repeated the impressive qualifying pace he’d shown a fortnight ago at the Hungaroring by claiming a front-row spot for Race 1, lapping just 1.2 seconds off López’s ultimate pace.

Race 2 winner at the Hungaroring, Norbert Michelisz, qualified fourth-fastest in his Zengõ Motorsport Honda, behind the second Citroën C-Elysée of Sébastien Loeb. The former rally ace’s teammates Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller locked out the third row of the grid.

The final stages of qualifying saw attention turn to who would grab pole position for Race 2, as the ten-fastest qualifiers have their positions reversed. Valente’s teammate John Filippi held the spot for much of the session, only to be deposed by ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton.

Chilton has himself bundled out of the top-ten by his own teammate Tom Coronel, who qualified ninth-fastest and pushed Honda’s Tiago Monteiro into tenth and an effective reversed-grid pole position.

Nürburgring expert Sabine Schmitz had a tougher qualifying session in her Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet and qualified fifteenth-fastest. She was two spots behind LADA’s Rob Huff, who was the sole member of the Russian team to post a time after he and teammate Jaap van Lagen both suffered with engine dramas.

The first WTCC race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife will be run over three laps from 11:15AM CET, ahead of a short parc fermé period for the start of Race 2.

2015 FIA WTCC Race of Germany – Final Qualifying
Driver Team Time Class
1. José María López Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée 8:37.327
2. Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze + 1.252 IND
3. Sébastien Loeb Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée + 2.608
4. Norbert Michelisz Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC + 3.268
5. Ma Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée + 3.925
6. Yvan Muller Citroën Total WTCC C-Elysée + 4.029
7. Mehdi Bennani* Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée + 5.238 IND
8. Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC + 6.168
9. Tom Coronel* ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze + 6.319 IND
10. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC + 6.396
11. Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze + 6.481 IND
12. John Filippi* Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze + 7.305 IND
13. Rob Huff* LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC + 8.358
14. Stefano D’Aste Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze + 10.043 IND
15. Sabine Schmitz Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze + 11.847 IND
16. Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze + 15.254 IND
Outside 107% Team Time Class
DNQ. Jaap van Lagen* LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC no time

* Will start from the rear of the grid for Race 1 after unscheduled engine change.

Image via FIA WTCC Media

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.