Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Tom Chilton takes first victory of 2014

ROAL Motorsport's Tom Chilton proved that his shock World Touring Car Championship pole at Beijing Goldenport was no fluke by converting his it into a superb first victory of 2014

Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Tom Chilton takes first victory of 2014

The Chevrolet driver's success is the first non-Citroen feature race win of the season, although fellow Cruze runner Gianni Morbidelli scored a reversed-grid victory at the Hungaroring in May.

Reigate driver Chilton executed a perfect start as third-qualifier Yvan Muller immediately jumped past front row man Gabriele Tarquini's JAS Honda.

Chilton was unfazed by the interruption of a lengthy safety-car period, and pulled away from his former team-mate Muller on the restart to extend a lead in excess of five seconds.

In the closing laps Chilton eased off to secure a comfortable 2.5s margin of victory over Citroen's title favourites Muller and Jose Maria Lopez.

It was a tough day for the factory JAS Hondas, which after displaying signs of a performance breakthrough on Saturday posted a double retirement.

Tarquini was forced to pit from second five laps from home, while team-mate Tiago Monteiro failed to progress beyond lap 14.

Former champion Tarquini's problems promoted points leader Lopez to the final step on the podium.

Morbidelli completed a strong but lonely run to take fourth, ahead of Sebastien Loeb, who dropped two places on lap 11 but battled up from seventh past Norbert Michelisz to finish fifth.

Chinese racer Ma Qing Hua was hot on Loeb's heels for a considerable portion of the race, before running through a gravel trap.

Moscow winner Ma's tumble down the order assisted a strong result from Lada's British pairing of James Thompson and Rob Huff who finished seventh and eighth.

The safety car was called on the second lap, when Munnich Motorsport's Rene Munnich and Dusan Borkovic tangled between Turns 10 and 11.

Munnich's car came to rest on the inside of the track, with the Campos machine of Borkovic facing in the wrong direction tight-in behind.

Heavy duty cranes removed the stricken cars, but the clear-up process took eight laps. The attrition elevated TC2 points leader Franz Engstler to 10th and the final point.

RESULTS - 28 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 35m44.890s
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2.493s
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 5.132s
4 Gianni Morbidelli All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 10.473s
5 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 14.455s
6 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 17.238s
7 James Thompson LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 18.338s
8 Rob Huff LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 19.104s
9 Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing Honda 37.966s
10 Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 54.871s
11 Mikhail Kozlovskiy LADA Sport Lukoil Lada 1 Lap
12 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
13 John Filippi Campos Racing SEAT 2 Laps
14 Filipe Souza Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 3 Laps
15 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 4 Laps
16 Gabriele Tarquini Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda 4 Laps
17 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 6 Laps
- Tiago Monteiro Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Retirement
- Dusan Borkovic NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet Retirement
- Rene Munnich All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Retirement
- Michael Soong Campos Racing SEAT Withdrawn

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 327
2 Yvan Muller 271
3 Sebastien Loeb 223
4 Tiago Monteiro 146
5 Gabriele Tarquini 125
6 Tom Chilton 113
7 Norbert Michelisz 108
8 Tom Coronel 100
9 Gianni Morbidelli 97
10 Mehdi Bennani 59


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Beijing Goldenport WTCC: Tom Chilton takes pole in ROAL Chevrolet

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