The Fraga/Hizal controversy was the main headline to come out of the Gran Turismo World Tour event in New York, but there were plenty of other great stories, too. The latest chapter in Coque Lopez’s 2019 season is one of them.
At the Nurburgring event in June, Lopez was just a few corners away from victory when he ran out of fuel and was involved in an accident with Cody Latkovski. He was knocked off track – and the podium. It was a disappointing result for a driver that has had more than his share of bad luck in the Gran Turismo Championship.
That luck finally started to change for Lopez in New York, as he found himself on the podium of a Nations Cup event.
“It means a lot,” Lopez told us after the final. “I am so happy because it is my first podium ever. I needed a good result and the Manufacturers Series was not the best for me. If I did a good qualifying on Friday, I could have fought for the victory.”
— GTPlanet (@GTPlanetNews) September 2, 2019
What does Coque credit for his steady improvement? “In my case, I always felt quite fast in the races, but I was not fast at all in qualifying which made me be so far away to fight for the victory,” Lopez explained. “I have worked a lot since the beginning of the year to improve my qualifying laps. […] I am going to keep training like this.”
Lopez finished 6th in the finals at both Paris and the Nurburgring, so his efforts seem to be working. As we noted in our Nations Cup Driver Rankings published before New York, where Lopez ranked 7th, bad luck has been the only major factor holding him back. Once that clears — and with more qualification practice — he should be in a good position to fight for the World Championship come November.
For now, Lopez is just enjoying the moment. “It’s a podium, and I am so happy because it is my first podium ever. So, let’s train even more and try to improve even more for the next World Tour.”
Lopez will be back in action in just a few short weeks, as the World Tour resumes in Salzburg, Austria, on September 13 and 14.