WTCC Nordschleife: Yvan Muller wins race two in tense finish

Yvan Muller scraped to victory from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez by 0.173s in a tense second WTCC encounter on the Nurburgring Nordschleife

WTCC Nordschleife: Yvan Muller wins race two in tense finish

Lopez had spent much of the race bottled up in the lower half of the top 10 until being released when Ma Qing Hua spun on the final lap.

He then powered past the works Hondas of Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro on the back straight to arrive in his team-mate's mirrors as the chequered flag flew.

Monteiro led most of the first lap from reverse-grid pole, and he survived an early challenge from Muller before succumbing at the end of the lap.

Fellow front-row starter Tom Coronel's ROAL Chevrolet was shuffled down the pack as Muller and Tarquini came through, soon to be followed by the semi-works Citroen of Mehdi Bennani and the factory C-Elysees of Ma, Lopez and Sebastien Loeb.

Loeb survived an early contact with Rob Huff's Lada as the field entered the Nordschleife on the opening lap, but he was relegated to a spectator role as the battle unfolded ahead.

The gaps ebbed and flowed as Muller initially gave himself some breathing space before the Hondas caught him again at the beginning of the final lap.

Lopez was harrying Ma, who in turn was bullying Bennani, as the battle for fourth caught the battle for the lead.

Ma went by Bennani on the run to Tiergarten at the end of the penultimate lap, and Lopez then barged through at Turn 1.

Still under pressure, Ma went into a spin at the exit of Aremberg and slewed sideways across the track, shedding enough speed for the final impact with the barrier to be relatively gentle.

Lopez narrowly avoided his team-mate's accident and pressed on to join the battle for the lead.

By Dottinger Hohe he was on Tarquini's bootlid and slipstreamed past up the straight, gaining enough momentum to pass Monteiro as well and arrive on Muller's tail as they rejoined the grand prix loop.

Confounding expectations that the field would stretch out on the long lap, the top four were separated by just seven tenths of a second, and ninth-place finisher Jaap van Lagen crossed the finishing line just 10 seconds after the winner.

RACE TWO RESULT

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3 26m17.149s
2 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3 0.173s
3 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3 0.539s
4 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 3 0.694s
5 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 3 3.402s
6 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 3 4.062s
7 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 3 5.365s
8 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 3 8.865s
9 Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 3 10.000s
10 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 3 18.077s
11 Sabine Schmitz All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 3 32.769s
12 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 3 33.311s
- Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2 Retirement
- Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1 Retirement
- Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 0 Retirement
- Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 0 Not started
- Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 0 Not started

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 177
2 Sebastien Loeb 127
3 Yvan Muller 126
4 Tiago Monteiro 73
5 Ma Qinghua 64
6 Norbert Michelisz 61
7 Gabriele Tarquini 58
8 Tom Chilton 44
9 Mehdi Bennani 40
10 Hugo Valente 31
11 Tom Coronel 23
12 Stefano D'Aste 16
13 Rob Huff 9
14 James Thompson 6
15 John Filippi 5
16 Rickard Rydell 3
17 Jaap van Lagen 2
18 Gregoire Demoustier 2
19 Sabine Schmitz 1


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Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez wins race one
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