Qatar WTCC: Yvan Muller win denies Sebastien Loeb runner-up honours

Yvan Muller beat Citroen team-mate Sebastien Loeb to second place in the World Touring Car Championship drivers' standings with victory in the final race of the season at Losail

Qatar WTCC: Yvan Muller win denies Sebastien Loeb runner-up honours

The 25 points Muller gained for winning were enough for him to overhaul Loeb, as the World Rally legend ended his spell in the WTCC with a second fourth-place finish of the evening.

Polesitter John Filippi appeared to creep away from the line early at the start, and with front row partner Tom Coronel forced to start from the pits due to an oil leak, he held his lead into Turn 1 as Muller was promoted into second ahead of Ma Qing Hua.

The safety car made an appearance shortly afterwards, however, when Nicky Catsburg, Stefano D'Aste and Tom Chilton got together on the exit of Turn 5.

Chilton was able to continue but the remaining two retired on the spot, with the attempted recovery of their cars requiring four safety car laps before they were eventually left out of harm's way.

Muller had a good run on Filippi on the restart and was halfway up the inside of the Chevrolet on the entrance to Turn 1 before the pair touched.

Filippi was sent rotating, while Muller did well to hang on to his sideways Citroen and continued in the lead.

That spelt bad news for Loeb, with Filippi's delay - compounded by a drive-through penalty shortly afterwards for his false start - setting Muller on course to outscore Loeb by enough to reverse the pair in the championship.

Loeb pressed Norbert Michelisz for third - the Honda driver himself needing to finish ahead of Mehdi Bennani to take the Yokohama Drivers' Trophy title - but couldn't draw close enough to force an opening as second place in the standings appeared to be slipping from his clutches.

Muller, by contrast, eased away from Ma in his Citroen C-Elysee in the closing stages to win by 5.264 seconds, with his sixth victory of the season sealing the runner-up spot.

Third secured Michelisz's second Independents' crown, the Hungarian holding off Loeb by almost a second over the line to claim a sixth podium of 2015, while Bennani in the satellite Citroen came home fifth.

Hugo Valente was sixth ahead of a spritely Gabriele Tarquini, while Jose Maria Lopez ended his second championship-winning campaign in eighth, with Tiago Monteiro and Lada's Nicolas Lapierre completing the top 10.

RESULTS - 14 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 32m47.712s
2 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 5.264s
3 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 6.340s
4 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 7.243s
5 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 7.788s
6 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 10.145s
7 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 10.650s
8 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 11.682s
9 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 15.098s
10 Nicolas Lapierre LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 16.975s
11 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 19.243s
12 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 20.580s
13 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 21.655s
14 Nasser Al-Attiyah Campos Racing Chevrolet 26.965s
15 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 57.065s
16 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 5 Laps
- Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada Collision
- Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Collision

FINAL CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 475
2 Yvan Muller 357
3 Sebastien Loeb 356
4 Ma Qinghua 241
5 Gabriele Tarquini 197
6 Norbert Michelisz 193
7 Tiago Monteiro 177
8 Mehdi Bennani 127
9 Hugo Valente 120
10 Rob Huff 103
11 Tom Chilton 96
12 Nicky Catsburg 41
13 Tom Coronel 39
14 Stefano D'Aste 28
15 Jaap van Lagen 16
16 Nicolas Lapierre 8
17 James Thompson 6
18 John Filippi 6
19 Nestor Girolami 5
20 Gregoire Demoustier 5
21 Rickard Rydell 4
22 Tin Sritrai 3
23 Sabine Schmitz 1

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Qatar WTCC: Citroen's Jose Maria Lopez dominates first night race

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