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Salzburgring WTCC: Yvan Muller takes pole-to-flag win


Yvan Muller claimed a pole-to-flag victory at the Salzburgring to become the first three-time winner in the 2014 World Touring Car Championship.

The reigning WTCC champion's Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb, who joined Muller on the front row, was squeezed onto the kerbs exiting the first chicane on the opening lap by Tom Coronel.

Loeb dropped to fourth in the incident, behind Coronel and championship leader Jose Maria Lopez.

Former TC2000 champion Lopez had demoted ROAL Chevrolet racer Coronel to third by the end of the opening lap, but the Argentinean's pursuit of Muller faltered on lap eight.

Approaching the first chicane, Lopez lightly locked his brakes and overshot the corner into the escape road.

Rejoining behind Coronel, Lopez was unable to find a passing opportunity over the closing seven laps.

The Dutch WTCC veteran secured second by just 0.4 seconds, and had a small piece of flayed bumper on the left rear of his Cruze as a souvenir of Lopez's efforts to overtake.

Watch video highlights on the AUTOSPORT WTCC page

A six-car train of cars headed by Tiago Monteiro disputed fifth place.

The former grand prix driver's factory Honda team-mate Gabriele Tarquini provided the only passing manoeuvre in the group, benefiting from Zengo Honda driver Mehdi Bennani running wide at the Nockstein-Kehre on lap five to take eighth.

The gaggle was separated by under four seconds at the chequered flag, with Coronel's ROAL team-mate Tom Chilton completing the top six.

After sustaining heavy damage to his Campos Chevrolet in a practice crash that sidelined him from qualifying, Hugo Valente defied his post-shunt prediction by starting from the rear of the grid.

Sadly, the Marrakech podium-finisher and team-mate Dusan Borkovic would both pit for attention on the second lap.

Results - 15 laps:                                          
Pos  Driver                Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Yvan Muller           Citroen            20m56.737s    
 2.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet        +3.840s    
 3.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen               +4.276s    
 4.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen               +5.427s    
 5.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda                +12.403s    
 6.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet       +12.945s    
 7.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda        +13.566s    
 8.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda                +14.868s    
 9.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda          +15.672s    
10.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet    +16.184s    
11.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet    +25.974s    
12.  Robert Huff           Lada                 +27.778s    
13.  James Thompson        Lada                 +31.278s    
14.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada                 +41.924s    
15.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       +1m20.251s    
16.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT            +1 lap    
17.  Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW           +1 lap

Dusan Borkovic Campos Chevrolet 5 laps Hugo Valente Campos Chevrolet 4 laps
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