Jose Maria Lopez resists Tiago Monteiro to win second WTCC race

Jose Maria Lopez survived a late onslaught from Tiago Monteiro to win the main World Touring Car Championship race at Paul Ricard

Jose Maria Lopez resists Tiago Monteiro to win second WTCC race

Lopez's Citroen led from lights-to-flag, but came under intense pressure from Honda driver Monteiro in the final laps and won by a mere 0.284 seconds in his C-Elysee.

Monteiro's team-mate Norbert Michelisz completed the podium, securing his second third-place finish of the day.

It was Lopez's Citroen team-mate Yvan Muller who made the best start, the Frenchman jumping ahead of outside front row man Monteiro.

But while he and Monteiro were able to stay with Lopez in the opening laps, Muller soon dropped back and by the middle of the race trailed his team-mate by three seconds.

Monteiro stalked the C-Elysee and, eyeing a gap as the pair approached the final corner, pounced with a robust move that pushed Muller wide - promoting both he and team-mate Michelisz.

From there Monteiro hunted down Lopez, but was never presented with a chance to pass the Argentinian who kept his cool to claim his third WTCC victory at Paul Ricard.

Muller finished fourth behind Michelisz, having faded towards the end of the race, while Nicky Catsburg was fifth in the leading Lada Vesta.

Rob Huff recovered from being punted off at Turn 1 to finish a strong sixth, the Briton completing a number of decisive overtakes in the closing laps despite a considerate amount of damage to the rear of his Honda Civic to beat Hugo Valente in the second Lada.

Mehdi Bennani was eighth ahead of Sebastien Loeb Racing team-mate Tom Chilton, while Fredrik Ekblom completed the points in his Polestar Volvo S60.

RESULTS - 17 LAPS

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 25m53.030s
2 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0.284s
3 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3.111s
4 Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 8.652s
5 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 9.814s
6 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 19.934s
7 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 21.792s
8 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 22.130s
9 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 22.389s
10 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 27.554s
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 32.142s
12 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 32.166s
13 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 35.629s
- Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada Retirement
- Rene Munnich Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Retirement
- Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 38
2 Tiago Monteiro 34
3 Rob Huff 33
4 Norbert Michelisz 30
5 Mehdi Bennani 22
6 Hugo Valente 16
7 Yvan Muller 15
8 Nicky Catsburg 15
9 Thed Bjork 6
10 Tom Coronel 4
11 Tom Chilton 2
12 Gregoire Demoustier 1
13 Fredrik Ekblom 1


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