José María López

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José María López
Jose Maria Lopez 2014 WTCC Race of Japan.jpg
Nationality Argentina Argentine
Born (1983-04-26) 26 April 1983 (age 35)
Río Tercero, Argentina
World Touring Car Championship career
Debut season 2013
Current team Citroën Racing
Car no. 37
Former teams Wiechers-Sport
Starts 71
Wins 29
Poles 20
Fastest laps 29
Best finish

1st in 2014, 2015, 2016

Formula E career
Debut season 2016–17
Current team Dragon Racing
Car no. 37
Former teams DS Virgin Racing
Starts 20
Wins 0
Poles 0
Fastest laps 1
Best finish 9th in 2016–17
Finished last season 9th
Previous series
2012–13
2008–13
2008–13
2008
2007–11
2007
200506
2004
200304
2003, 200506
2002
200102
Super TC 2000
Top Race V6
Turismo Carretera
FIA GT Championship
TC 2000 Championship
American Le Mans Series
GP2 Series
International Formula 3000
Formula Renault V6 Eurocup
Formula One testing
Formula Renault Italia
FR2000 Eurocup
Championship titles
20142016
2012
2009
200809
2003
2002
WTCC
Super TC 2000
Top Race V6
TC 2000 Championship
Formula Renault V6 Eurocup
Formula Renault Italia

José María "Pechito" López (born 26 April 1983) is an Argentine race car driver and reigning World Touring Car Champion. He raced in the 2006 GP2 Series for the Super Nova team, and previously for the DAMS team, and the CMS team in Formula 3000. He was also at Renault F1 as a test driver. He was supposed to make his Formula One debut in 2010 for US F1 Team but the team shut down before contesting a single race. On 16 December 2013 he joined the Citroën Total WTCC team for the 2014 World Touring Car Championship season.[1] He won 10 races that year and clinched his first World Touring Car Championship. In 2015 he repeated the feat, again winning 10 races and the championship.[2] In 2016, he again retained his title with 8 wins.[3]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

López began in karting, before moving to the Formula Renault 2000 Eurocup in 2001, finishing in 17th position, taking one pole position and one fastest lap.[4] He stayed in the series for the 2002 season driving for Cram Competition, finishing in fourth position, taking one victory.[4] He also drove for Cram in Italian Formula Renault that year, where he became champion, taking four wins, beating Robert Kubica to the crown. He moved on to the Formula Renault V6 Eurocup in 2003, making his first association with the DAMS team, winning the title with five race wins.[4]

Formula 3000 and GP2[edit]

In 2004 López moved up to International Formula 3000 with the CMS team, finishing sixth overall.[4] He also continued in the V6 Eurocup that year, driving in four races.

López raced in the inaugural season of the GP2 Series in 2005, making him one of only a select few drivers in the series who had previous experience of a full season in Formula 3000, the series which GP2 replaced. He finished ninth in the standings racing for the DAMS team.[4] For 2006 he moved to the Super Nova Racing team, finishing tenth in the standings.[4]

Return to Argentina[edit]

López won the opening round of the 2010 TC 2000 season in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

In the early part of 2007, López raced in the American Le Mans Series, racing a Ferrari 430 GT for Corsa Motorsports/White Lightning in the 12 Hours of Sebring, and for Risi Competizione at St. Petersburg.

López also returned to Argentina in 2007 to race in TC 2000, the country's major production-based touring car championship. He was 5th that year, won the drivers' title in 2008, and successfully defended this crown in 2009. López also joined the Turismo Carretera in 2008 and the Top Race V6 in 2009; he became TRV6 champion in 2009. He narrowly lost out on winning the 2009 Turismo Carretera title after crashing out on an oilspill on the 18th lap of the final race of the season, thereby losing the unique opportunity to win three different championships in the same season.

He also competed in selected races of the FIA GT Championship in 2008 for the ACA Argentina team.[4]

Formula One[edit]

López was a member of the Renault Driver Development programme between 2004 and 2006, and was test driver for Renault F1 during the 2006 season.

In November 2009 López confirmed that he had a deal in place with the new US F1 Team to race in the 2010 Formula One season, provided he secured an eight million-dollar sponsorship package.[5] Sources close to López claimed he already had eighty percent of the funds needed to secure his place in the team.[6]

López was announced as a driver for US F1 on 25 January 2010.[7] Former F1 driver Carlos Reutemann, a close friend of US F1 principal Peter Windsor and a leading politician in Argentina, helped put the funding package together for López. Complications in USF1's progress and uncertainty over whether USF1 would be able to stay in F1 for 2010 caused rumours to surface that López was in talks with rival team Campos, in order to secure his place in F1. This was confirmed by his manager in late February.[8] On 2 March 2010, he was freed from his contract due to US F1 not being able to attempt to race. On 4 March, Karun Chandhok completed the 2010 grid by signing for Campos (later renamed as the Hispania Racing F1 Team), leaving López without a race drive.[9]

Return to Argentina[edit]

In 2010, López remained driving for Honda in the Argentine TC 2000 championship, finishing 6th. For 2011 he switched to Fiat. In 2012, he won the (super) TC2000 championship for a third time, with privateer team PSG16.

World Touring Car Championship[edit]

He made his World Touring Car Championship début with Wiechers-Sport at the 2013 FIA WTCC Race of Argentina, substituting for their regular driver Fredy Barth.[10] He took both Yokohama Independents' Trophy victories and scored an overall victory in race two.[11]

In 2014, he moved to the Citroën team, and became 2014 World Touring Car Champion, clinching the title at Suzuka, thanks to his dominant race car -the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC that got 17 victories out of 23 races[12]-, but also dominating his two team-mates : Yvan Muller and the circuit races rookie Sébastien Loeb. José María López finished the season with ten victories, close to the Yvan Muller's record.

In 2015, José María López expected to have more difficulties "I am aware the competition is going to be much stronger because the other drivers are going to know me, they will push harder and you can see this already how Honda is pushing more, the Chevrolet drivers and the same in my Citroën team.",[13] yet he still dominated the first part of the season competition[14] with his team-mates on the Citroën C-Elysée WTCC.

Formula E[edit]

In July 2016, López was confirmed as DS Virgin Racing's second driver for the third season of the FIA Formula E Championship and finished ninth in the Drivers' championship. He returned to Formula E for the 2017-18 campaign at the Marrakesh round for Dragon Racing, replacing the outgoing Neel Jani.[15]

Racing record[edit]

Complete International Formula 3000 results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap.)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 DC Points
2004 CMS Performance IMO
Ret
CAT
6
MON
3
NÜR
5
MAG
Ret
SIL
4
HOC
6
HUN
8
SPA
3
MNZ
Ret
6th 28

Complete GP2 Series results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 DC Points
2005 DAMS IMO
FEA

2
IMO
SPR

11
CAT
FEA

6
CAT
SPR

1
MON
FEA

Ret
NÜR
FEA

13
NÜR
SPR

14
MAG
FEA

2
MAG
SPR

Ret
SIL
FEA

9
SIL
SPR

Ret
HOC
FEA

13
HOC
SPR

10
HUN
FEA

Ret
HUN
SPR

Ret
IST
FEA

6
IST
SPR

7
MNZ
FEA

Ret
MNZ
SPR

Ret
SPA
FEA

10
SPA
SPR

8
BHR
FEA

4
BHR
SPR

4
9th 36
2006 Super Nova Racing VAL
FEA

5
VAL
SPR

Ret
IMO
FEA

Ret
IMO
SPR

Ret
NÜR
FEA

4
NÜR
SPR

3
CAT
FEA

Ret
CAT
SPR

Ret
MON
FEA

Ret
SIL
FEA

Ret
SIL
SPR

14
MAG
FEA

3
MAG
SPR

Ret
HOC
FEA

7
HOC
SPR

2
HUN
FEA

8
HUN
SPR

Ret
IST
FEA

9
IST
SPR

11
MNZ
FEA

Ret
MNZ
SPR

Ret
10th 30

Complete GT1 World Championship results[edit]

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Pos Points
2010 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin ABU
QR
ABU
CR
SIL
QR
SIL
CR
BRN
QR
BRN
CR
PRI
QR
PRI
CR
SPA
QR
SPA
CR
NÜR
QR
NÜR
CR
ALG
QR
ALG
CR
NAV
QR
NAV
CR
INT
QR
INT
CR
SAN
QR

Ret
SAN
CR

5
37th 10

Complete World Touring Car Championship results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Pos. Pts
2013 Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC ITA
1
ITA
2
MAR
1
MAR
2
SVK
1
SVK
2
HUN
1
HUN
2
AUT
1
AUT
2
RUS
1
RUS
2
POR
1
POR
2
ARG
1

5
ARG
2

1
USA
1
USA
2
JPN
1
JPN
2
CHN
1
CHN
2
MAC
1
MAC
2
15th 35
2014 Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC MAR
1

1
MAR
2

2
FRA
1

4
FRA
2

1
HUN
1

2
HUN
2

6
SVK
1

2
SVK
2

C
AUT
1

3
AUT
2

1
RUS
1

1
RUS
2

Ret
BEL
1

2
BEL
2

1
ARG
1

1
ARG
2

1
BEI
1

3
BEI
2

4
CHN
1

1
CHN
2

3
JPN
1

1
JPN
2

6
MAC
1

1
MAC
2

5
1st 462
2015 Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC ARG
1

1
ARG
2

2
MAR
1

1
MAR
2

3
HUN
1

1
HUN
2

6
GER
1

1
GER
2

2
RUS
1

2
RUS
2

12
SVK
1

2
SVK
2

2
FRA
1

3
FRA
2

1
POR
1

1
POR
2

5
JPN
1

1
JPN
2

Ret
CHN
1

1
CHN
2

3
THA
1

1
THA
2

3
QAT
1

1
QAT
2

8
1st 475
2016 Citroën Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC FRA
1

6
FRA
2

1
SVK
1

5
SVK
2

1
HUN
1

13
HUN
2

1
MAR
1

2
MAR
2

1
GER
1

1
GER
2

1
RUS
1

5
RUS
2

8
POR
1

5
POR
2

5
ARG
1

5
ARG
2

1
JPN
1

4
JPN
2

2
CHN
1

4
CHN
2

1
QAT
1

9
QAT
2

3
1st 381

Complete Formula E results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position; races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Team Car 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Points
2016–17 DS Virgin Racing Spark-Virgin DSV-02 HKG
Ret
MAR
10
BNA
10
MEX
6
MON
Ret
PAR
2
BER
4
BER
5
NYC NYC MTR
Ret
MTR
3
9th 65
2017–18 Dragon Racing Spark-Penske EV-2 HKG HKG MAR
6
SAN
Ret
MEX
12
PDE
8
ROM
17†
PAR
10
BER
18
ZUR
12
NYC
Ret
NYC
Ret
17th 14

Driver did not finish the race, but was classified as he completed more than 90% of the race distance.

Complete FIA World Endurance Championship results[edit]

Year Entrant Class Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Rank Points
2017 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 Toyota TS050 Hybrid Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6 (Hybrid) SIL
13
SPA LMS
Ret
NÜR
3
MEX
4
COA
4
FUJ
2
SHA
4
BHR
4
6th 84.5
2018–19 Toyota Gazoo Racing LMP1 Toyota TS050 Hybrid Toyota 2.4 L Turbo V6 (Hybrid) SPA
2
LMS
2
SIL
FUJ
SHA
SEB
SPA
LMS
2nd* 45*

* Season still in progress.

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2017 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing France Nicolas Lapierre
Japan Yuji Kunimoto
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 160 DNF DNF
2018 Japan Toyota Gazoo Racing United Kingdom Mike Conway
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 386 2nd 2nd

References[edit]

  1. ^ Abbott, Andrew (2013-12-16). "Citroën reveal third car for López". TouringCars.Net. TouringCars.Net. Retrieved 2014-04-04. 
  2. ^ "José María López". FIA WTCC. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  3. ^ "Standings". fiawtcc.com. 17 February 2015. Retrieved 1 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g http://www.driverdb.com/drivers/106/career/ Career statistics at Driver Database
  5. ^ Pablo Elizalde and Matt Beer (2009-11-21). "Lopez set for USF1 drive". Autosport.com. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  6. ^ "Lopez signs conditional USF1 deal". F1-Live.com. 2009-11-21. Retrieved 2009-11-21. 
  7. ^ Ampuero, Luis (2010-01-23). "Argentine Lopez set to drive for USF1 team". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2010-01-23. 
  8. ^ Beer, Matt; Elizalde, Pablo (2010-02-24). "Lopez manager admits Campos talks". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2010-02-24. 
  9. ^ Noble, Jonathan (2010-03-04). "Chandhok announced as HRT driver". autosport.com. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  10. ^ Tremayne, Sam (26 July 2013). "Jose Maria Lopez to make WTCC debut in Argentina". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  11. ^ "RACE 2 – LÓPEZ MAKES HISTORY". World Touring Car Championship. Kigema Sport Organisation. 4 August 2013. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Jose Maria Lopez remarkable first season in the World Touring Car Championship with Citroën Racing WTCC". Crash.net. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2015. For us, everything was new, the team was coming from rallying with a new car, new drivers. It was very difficult to set a goal. We never imagined to win so many races. 
  13. ^ "Jose Maria Lopez remarkable first season in the World Touring Car Championship with Citroën Racing WTCC". FIA WTCC. 2 March 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "José María López says following in the wheel tracks of fellow Argentines Juan Manuel Fangio and Carlos Reutemann by winning on the Nürburgring Nordschleife is a "special" feeling". FIA WTCC. 17 May 2015. Retrieved 6 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Jose Maria Lopez replaces Neel Jani at Dragon". fiaformulae.com. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2018. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Ryan Briscoe
Italian Formula Renault Championship
Champion

2002
Succeeded by
Franck Perera
Preceded by
Inaugural
Formula Renault V6 Eurocup
Champion

2003
Succeeded by
Giorgio Mondini
Preceded by
Juan Manuel Silva
Ezequiel Bosio
Winner of the 200 km de Buenos Aires
2008
With: Anthony Reid
Succeeded by
Norberto Fontana
Ricardo Mauricio
Preceded by
Matías Rossi
TC 2000 Championship
Champion

2008-2009
Succeeded by
Norberto Fontana
Preceded by
Emiliano Spataro
Top Race V6
Champion

2009
Succeeded by
Guido Falaschi
(Copa América)
Agustín Canapino
(Close Tournament)
Preceded by
Matías Rossi
Súper TC 2000 Championship
Champion

2012
Succeeded by
Matías Rossi
Preceded by
Yvan Muller
World Touring Car Championship
Champion

2014, 2015, 2016
Succeeded by
Thed Björk