Nordschleife WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez takes narrow race two win

Jose Maria Lopez made it back to back World Touring Car Championship wins at the Nurburgring Nordschleife with a narrow race two victory ahead of Honda's Norbert Michelisz

Nordschleife WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez takes narrow race two win

Lopez had to come from behind after forfeiting his lead at the start, but always looked comfortable as he ensured he took maximum points from the meeting.

With both Yvan Muller - the Frenchman involved in a shunt with Tiago Monteiro in race one - and Tom Coronel absent from the race two grid, Michelisz was promoted to second alongside Lopez on the front row.

The Hungarian made the most of that break and outdragged Lopez on the run to the first corner, blocking off the Argentinian's line through the exit.

Michelisz's lead was short-lived, however, as Lopez swept back ahead on the grand prix circuit loop with a fine move around the outside of the Honda man at the Schumacher Esses.

Lopez stretched his legs on the Nordschleife, crossing the line three seconds to the good at the end of the first lap, but after edging away again slightly on the second tour he lost a heap of time in the final sector, allowing Michelisz - plus Tom Chilton and team-mate Rob Huff - to close up behind.

But Lopez held firm, ensuring he had enough of an advantage into the final sector to hang on to his lead as he crossed the line 0.435s clear.

Michelisz came home a similar margin ahead of Chilton, who like the Honda man claimed a second podium of the weekend, while Huff grabbed his second fourth-place finish of the day despite his best attempts to pass compatriot Chilton on the final lap.

Mehdi Bennani trailed Nicky Catsburg on the opening lap but repassed the Lada man to clinch fifth - finishing just half a second down on Huff.

Sportscar specialist Catsburg did finish best of the Lada Vestas in sixth, while Polestar pair Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Bjork both enjoyed eventful races on their way to seventh and eighth, with the latter battling his way past Gabriele Tarquini at Dottinger Hohe on the final lap.

Tarquini, who before the race spoke of taking a more cautious approach, headed Lada team-mate Hugo Valente for the final points positions.

RACE TWO RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Racing Citroen 3 26m29.665s
2 Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3 0.435s
3 Tom Chilton Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3 0.915s
4 Rob Huff Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3 1.908s
5 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3 2.431s
6 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Lada 3 4.905s
7 Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 3 6.072s
8 Thed Bjork Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo 3 8.008s
9 Gabriele Tarquini LADA Sport Lada 3 8.675s
10 Hugo Valente LADA Sport Lada 3 13.860s
11 Sabine Schmitz Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 3 23.305s
12 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 3 28.180s
13 Ferenc Ficza Zengo Motorsport Honda 3 33.913s
14 Gregoire Demoustier Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3 38.285s
- Yvan Muller Citroen Racing Citroen 0 Not started
- Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 0 Not started
- Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 0 Not started

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 209
2 Mehdi Bennani 115
3 Tiago Monteiro 94
4 Yvan Muller 94
5 Norbert Michelisz 88
6 Rob Huff 85
7 Tom Chilton 84
8 Nicky Catsburg 70
9 Gabriele Tarquini 57
10 Tom Coronel 50
11 Hugo Valente 47
12 Fredrik Ekblom 35
13 Thed Bjork 27
14 Gregoire Demoustier 11
15 James Thompson 8
16 John Filippi 7
17 Rene Munnich 2
18 Sabine Schmitz 1

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Series WTCC
Drivers Jose Maria Lopez
Author Jack Cozens
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