Macau WTCC: Mehdi Bennani wins as Michelisz crash blocks track

Mehdi Bennani clinched his third victory of the World Touring Car Championship season in the reversed-grid race at Macau, which ended early after a crash involving title contender Norbert Michelisz

Macau WTCC: Mehdi Bennani wins as Michelisz crash blocks track

Sebastien Loeb Racing driver Bennani cantered away at the front of the field in his Citroen C-Elysee and was two seconds clear of the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze of Tom Coronel on the penultimate lap of the race before a red flag was shown after Michelisz blocked the road at Police after hitting the wall.

The Hungarian had negotiated his way from eighth on the grid to run fifth from lap two, and spent the following laps in the wheeltracks of championship rival, Thed Bjork's Volvo S60.

But at Police with a lap-and-a-half to go, Michelisz appeared to clip the barrier on the inside of the corner and ran out into the barrier on the exit.

That put his Honda Civic sideways and, after a hit from team-mate Esteban Guerrieri rotated his car further, blocked the road for those following.

The race was immediately suspended, and a subsequent message confirmed the race would not be restarted.

A two-lap countback was then applied to the result, meaning five of the scheduled eighth laps were classified.

Behind Bennani and Coronel, Ryo Michigami's reward for fending off Bjork was a best result to date in the WTCC with third.

Michigami's podium is the first for a Japanese driver in the series.

The countback also meant Michelisz was classified fifth, ahead of Guerrieri, despite causing the red flag, while main race polesitter Rob Huff (Munnich Motorsport Citroen C-Elysee) set a new fastest race lap record of the Guia circuit on his way to seventh.

Tom Chilton followed Huff in the order in his similar SLR C-Elysee, while Nicky Catsburg and the RC Motorsport Lada Vesta of Kevin Gleason completed the top 10.

Race one results

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 5 12m26.832s
2 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 5 1.952s
3 Ryo Michigami Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 5 3.265s
4 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 5 3.627s
5 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 5 4.577s
6 Esteban Guerrieri Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 5 5.379s
7 Rob Huff Munnich Motorsport Citroen 5 6.635s
8 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 5 8.068s
9 Nicky Catsburg Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 5 10.688s
10 Kevin Gleason RC Motorsport Lada 5 12.040s
11 John Filippi Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 5 13.946s
12 Yann Ehrlacher RC Motorsport Lada 5 14.592s
13 Nestor Girolami Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 5 18.512s
14 Ma Qinghua Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 5 18.683s
15 Daniel Nagy Zengo Motorsport Honda 5 25.074s
16 Zsolt Szabo Zengo Motorsport Honda 5 37.025s
17 Ka Lok Mak RC Motorsport Lada 5 46.075s
18 Po Wah Wong Campos Racing Chevrolet 5 2m00.220s
- Clerebold Chan Campos Racing Chevrolet 0 Withdrawn


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