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Spa WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez takes fifth win of 2014

Jose Maria Lopez wins Spa WTCC 2014

World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez took his fifth victory of the season after securing a hard fought win at Spa-Francorchamps.

The Argentinean's Citroen C-Elysee survived undamaged from contact with Hugo Valente at Malmedy on the opening lap.

The clash was sufficiently forceful to send the Campos Chevrolet Cruze sideways across the road, but thereafter Lopez scythed through the order untroubled from his ninth position on the reversed grid.

Lapping 1.8 seconds faster than long-time leader Tom Coronel, Lopez grabbed first position by powering past the ROAL Motorsport racer on the run down to Eau Rouge two laps from home.

Race one winner Yvan Muller completed a comfortable Citroen one-two. The Alsace racer spent two laps held behind the Honda Civics of Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini early in the race, compromising his efforts to challenge title rival Lopez.

The reigning WTCC champion produced some fine overtaking moves, including a pass on Tiago Monteiro around the outside of Les Combes for third late in the race, but would be forced to concede a three-second winning margin.

An ecstatic Coronel narrowly held off the advances of factory Honda racer Monteiro and World Rally Championship legend Sebastien Loeb to claim his second podium of the season, as just 0.6s covered third to fifth at the chequered flag.

Dutch veteran Coronel had enjoyed a flier off the line to jump polesitter, and fellow customer RML Cruze competitor, Gianni Morbidelli for the lead into La Source.

Hungaroring winner Morbidelli completed the opening lap in third after losing out to Monteiro at the Bus Stop, and would end the afternoon rounding out the top six.

Results - 9 laps:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            22m16.645s
 2.  Yvan Muller           Citroen               +3.097s
 3.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet        +8.409s
 4.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda                 +8.912s
 5.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen               +9.060s
 6.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet    +16.851s
 7.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda          +17.929s
 8.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda                +19.026s
 9.  Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet     +20.500s
10.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet       +21.187s
11.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda        +22.296s
12.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada                 +34.995s
13.  Rob Huff              Lada                 +38.692s
14.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet    +39.557s
15.  James Thompson        Lada                 +50.893s
16.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       +1m17.281s*
17.  Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       +1m23.029s*
18.  Norbert Nagy          Campos SEAT        +1m33.065s*
19.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT            -1 lap*

* TC2


     Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet       5 laps
     Ma Qing Hua           Citroen                4 laps
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