FIA WTCC

Champion López receives WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy at Essen Motor Show

Champion López receives WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy at Essen Motor Show
By FIA WTCC

03/12/2016 at 14:19Updated 03/12/2016 at 14:51

Less than 24 hours after officially being crowned World Touring Car champion for a third year in succession at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Vienna on Friday evening, José María López became the proud recipient of the WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy in recognition of his stunning victory double at the legendary venue earlier this season.

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Less than 24 hours after officially being crowned World Touring Car champion for a third year in succession at the FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Vienna on Friday evening, José María López became the proud recipient of the WTCC Nürburgring Nordschleife Best Driver Trophy in recognition of his stunning victory double at the legendary venue earlier this season.

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Representatives of Eurosport Events, the WTCC promoter, were unanimous in their decision to award López the striking bronze trophy. The presentation was made by the WTCC’s Eric Nève during the penultimate day of the Essen Motor Show in Germany (3 December), where López was a guest of honour at the Citroën stand, the marque he represented for the bulk of his WTCC career.

“I’m very happy to receive this trophy,” said López, 33. “I thought I deserved to win the trophy last year as well so I really wanted to win it this year. The Nürburgring Nordschleife is the most special track in the world, the ‘Green Hell’ and different from anything you have experienced before. It’s something amazing to be flat out on this track. You have jumps, high-speed corners, a long straight, a long lap, it’s amazing. Of course with Fangio winning there and Carlos Reutemann winning there, the track has a strong connection with Argentina, my country, and it’s a very special place for Argentinian people. I look forward to come back to this amazing track one day.”

López became the first driver since Jacky Ickx and Jochen Mass in 1983 to win an FIA world championship race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife when he triumphed in the first of two races in 2015. He follows Hugo Valente as the second recipient of the Best Driver Trophy, which was instigated to coincide with the WTCC’s multi-year agreement to race at the iconic German track.

Of his visit to the Essen Motor Show, where he took time out of his schedule to meet fans, sign autographs and conduct media interviews, López said: “I was here in 2014 so I knew it was a very big event. People in Germany are very big fans of motor racing so it’s a pleasure to meet them.”

López: WTCC’s King of the Ring in numbers
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC starts: 4
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC wins: 3
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC podiums: 1
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC pole positions: 2
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC fastest laps: 2
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC best lap (qualifying): 8m35.541s (2016, record)
Nürburgring Nordschleife WTCC best lap (race): 8m40.688s (2015, record)

The FIA World Touring Car Championship will return to Nürburgring Nordschleife from 25-27 May 2017 with WTCC Race of Germany forming the fourth event of the upcoming season. López is taking s break from WTCC action to contest the FIA Formula E Championship in 2017.

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