Slovakia Ring WTCC: Sebastien Loeb wins race two after start chaos

Sebastien Loeb surged through from eighth on the grid to lead home a Citroen 1-2-3 in the second World Touring Car Championship race at the Slovakia Ring

Slovakia Ring WTCC: Sebastien Loeb wins race two after start chaos

Loeb finished ahead of duelling team-mates Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller.

Race-one winner Muller made several stout challenges before backing off in the final laps.

Lada's Jaap van Lagen started the reverse-grid race on pole position with the factory Honda Civic of Gabriele Tarquini alongside on the front row, but his lead would last just a few metres as Tarquini made the better getaway.

On the row behind, Ma Qing Hua wrought confusion for a second race in succession as he appeared to pre-empt the lights, then stalled as he brought his C-Elysee to a halt; he put this down to an ongoing clutch problem.

Third-place starter Tom Chilton's Chevrolet was already being swallowed up by the fast-moving Loeb, Lopez and Muller even as he reached the first corner.

As the midfield and tail end of the grid negotiated the obstacle of Ma's stationary Citroen, 18th placed Nestor Girolami had to swerve on to the grass when the Chevrolets of Stefano D'Aste and John Filippi immediately ahead suddenly peeled left and right to avoid the C-Elysee.

By the start of the third lap Loeb had demoted Tarquini at Turn 1, and Lopez and Muller followed in quick succession.

That order prevailed until the chequered flag, with Van Lagen recovering from his slow start and a long battle with team-mate Rob Huff to challenge Hugo Valente's Chevrolet for fifth in the closing laps.

Lada lost its two other Vestas in quick succession on lap nine as a rock punched a hole in the front of Huff's car and Nicky Catsburg pitted with a phantom oil warning light.

Chilton ran seventh and would have been the second independent runner home had he not gone off-track on lap 10, allowing Mehdi Bennani's Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen through.

Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro started their Hondas 13th and 17th but spent most of the race bumper-to-bumper, briefly joined by the recovering Ma before he served a drive-through penalty for the jump-start, and the stewards also took an interest in a collision between the two Civics as Monteiro made an optimistic overtaking move.

Tom Coronel arrived just behind this battle in the closing laps to end the race in tenth place, fighting off a challenge from the impressive Girolami.

RESULTS - 11 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 23m26.146s
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3.188s
3 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 7.626s
4 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 12.144s
5 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 16.266s
6 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 16.634s
7 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 18.793s
8 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 30.442s
9 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 30.691s
10 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 31.666s
11 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 32.150s
12 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 40.429s
13 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 42.916s
14 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 45.517s
15 Mat'o Homola Campos Racing Chevrolet 45.690s
- Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Retirement
- Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada Retirement
- Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada Retirement
- Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 239
2 Yvan Muller 209
3 Sebastien Loeb 178
4 Tiago Monteiro 108
5 Gabriele Tarquini 96
6 Norbert Michelisz 86
7 Ma Qinghua 84
8 Tom Chilton 61
9 Rob Huff 55
10 Hugo Valente 55
11 Mehdi Bennani 46
12 Tom Coronel 27
13 Stefano D'Aste 16
14 Nicky Catsburg 13
15 Jaap van Lagen 11
16 James Thompson 6
17 John Filippi 5
18 Rickard Rydell 3
19 Gregoire Demoustier 2
20 Nestor Girolami 1
20 Sabine Schmitz 1


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Slovakia Ring WTCC: Yvan Muller dominates race one from pole

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