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Salzburgring WTCC: Lopez extends points lead with race two win

Jose Maria Lopez extended his lead at the top of the World Touring Car Championship standings to 41 points after taking victory in a crash-interrupted second race at the Salzburgring.

Polesitter Gabriele Tarquini had to settle for second, ahead of team-mate Tiago Monteiro, as both men struggled to defend from the straightline speed advantage of Lopez's Citroen C-Elysee.

The appearance of the safety car on lap 11 for debris to be cleared only mildly assisted Lopez's charge from seventh on the grid.

The Argentinean already occupied second position when racing resumed, and slipstreamed Tarquini for the lead on the back straight on lap 13.

Lopez secured a 1.6-second margin of victory, and after paying compliments to his team denied any knowledge of involvement in a startline that resulted in team-mate Yvan Muller's retirement.

Watch video highlights on the AUTOSPORT WTCC page

After securing his highest finish of the year, Tarquini downplayed the impact of the safety car on the closing stages.

Zengo Motorsport's Norbert Michelisz held off a four-car train headed by race one podium finisher Tom Coronel to take fifth place.

After being demoted five places on race one's grid for a yellow flag infringement in qualifying, Gianni Morbidelli rounded out the top six.

A start line accident involving opening race victor Muller and Lada's British drivers James Thompson and Rob Huff contributed to the race being stopped after two laps.

Muller had placed two wheels on the grass to the left of the pitstraight on the run down to Turn 1, after appearing to run out of room alongside team-mate Lopez.

Salzburgring WTCC 2014 crash

As Muller rejoined the track, Thompson jinked right to avoid contact with the reigning champion.

The move resulted in Thompson touching team-mate Huff on his right, sending the Granta back into the path of Muller.

A chain reaction of bumps sent the two Ladas spearing across the track into opposing barriers, while Muller, who initially appeared to have escaped severe damage, forcefully clouted the wall on the right-hand side.

A separate incident occurred on the exit of Turn 1, involving the customer Chevrolets of Tom Chilton and Dusan Borkovic.

Serbian Borkovic was forced to pull up immediately, while Tom Chilton limped around to the final chicane where he parted company with his right-rear wheel.

Results - 17 laps (inc red flag):

Pos  Driver                Team/Car           Time/Gap
 1.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen          51m59.898s
 2.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda               +1.683s
 3.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda               +2.554s
 4.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda         +3.651s
 5.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet      +3.908s
 6.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet   +4.466s
 7.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen             +4.758s
 8.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda       +5.418s
 9.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet  +10.074s
10.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada               +15.288s
11.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       +27.754s
12.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT        +34.568s
13.  Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       +35.070s


     Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet     6 laps
     Yvan Muller           Citroen               1 lap
     Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet       0 laps
     James Thompson        Lada                 0 laps
     Rob Huff              Lada                 0 laps
     Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet     0 laps
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