WTCC Vila Real: Citroen's Ma Qing Hua wins red-flagged race two

Citroen's Ma Qing Hua took his first win of the 2015 World Touring Car Championship in Vila Real in dramatic circumstances as red flags ended the race early

WTCC Vila Real: Citroen's Ma Qing Hua wins red-flagged race two

Ma led from the reverse-grid pole, staving off a challenge from team-mate Yvan Muller, who started second.

Chaos ensued behind as Lada's Jaap van Lagen got away slowly from third place alongside team-mate Nicky Catsburg, and Honda's Tiago Monteiro tried to dive between the two Vestas.

The gap began to close as Monteiro was already well committed and the Civic bounced off both before its trajectory took it into a heavy impact with the Armco, followed by Van Lagen's car, which also lost a rear wheel and part of its suspension in the impact.

Momentum sent the wheel bouncing back down the track, collecting the Chevrolet of 14th-place starter Stefano D'Aste and breaking his right-rear suspension upright.

All the other cars made it through, although Sebastien Loeb nearly collected team-mate Jose Maria Lopez as he swerved left to miss the accident.

The second group of Citroens made their usual fast start but could only pass Hugo Valente's Chevrolet, tucking in behind the privateer Honda of Norbert Michelisz.

Following a five-lap safety car deployment Ma led the restart and consistently pulled away from Muller, who in turn built a gap to Catsburg, who was being harried by a train led by the second factory Honda of Gabriele Tarquini.

The Tarquini-Michelisz-Loeb-Lopez train followed in close attendance until Catsburg ran wide at the Turn 21 right-hander on lap 10.

Tarquini breezed straight past, while Michelisz and Loeb went either side as Catsburg recovered.

Loeb found himself trying to go around the outside of both of them as the next right-hander loomed, the three cars came together, and Loeb went sideways into the barrier.

By then Ma had a four-second lead over Muller, and although Tarquini began to reel in the second Citroen, the race was then stopped when Catsburg slewed wide in a high-speed section on lap 13 and made a hard impact with the barrier, leaving debris across the track.

RESULTS - 11 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 26m44.910s
2 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 5.573s
3 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 10.812s
4 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 11.982s
5 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 12.423s
6 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 15.177s
7 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 15.639s
8 Nestor Girolami Honda Racing team Sweden Honda 16.060s
9 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 16.669s
10 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 17.174s
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 18.055s
12 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 25.619s
13 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 28.318s
14 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 31.126s
15 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 2 Laps
- Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet Retirement
- Jaap van Lagen LADA Sport Rosneft Lada Retirement
- Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda Retirement

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Jose Maria Lopez 322
2 Yvan Muller 267
3 Sebastien Loeb 230
4 Ma Qinghua 146
5 Norbert Michelisz 141
6 Gabriele Tarquini 138
7 Tiago Monteiro 124
8 Tom Chilton 76
9 Hugo Valente 72
10 Rob Huff 58
11 Mehdi Bennani 51
12 Tom Coronel 33
13 Nicky Catsburg 23
14 Stefano D'Aste 16
15 Jaap van Lagen 16
16 James Thompson 6
17 John Filippi 5
18 Nestor Girolami 5
19 Rickard Rydell 4
20 Gregoire Demoustier 2
21 Sabine Schmitz 1

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Vila Real WTCC: Jose Maria Lopez leads race one Citroen one-two

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