World touring: Lopez in control in first Moscow race

Sunday, 08 June 2014
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Polesitter Jose Maria Lopez survived a touch from Gabriele Tarquini at Turn 1 to claim his fourth World Touring Car Championship victory of the season at Moscow Raceway.

Factory Honda drivers Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, starting second and third, had stated their intention to be aggressive prior to the start as they sought to earn the Japanese manufacturer's first win of 2014. Both Civic WTCCs initially appeared to have made the jump on Lopez, who was forced to make a bold maneuver around Tarquini's outside at the first corner.

Former Formula 1 driver Monteiro mildly ran into the back of Tarquini into the braking zone, sending the Italian into the side of Lopez, who was forced onto the asphalt run-off. Thereafter, championship leader Lopez was in control, securing a 3.1-second margin of victory over Tarquini.

Monteiro was passed by nine-time World Rally champion Sebastien Loeb for third further around the lap, and soon came under attack from the Frenchman's factory Citroen teammate Yvan Muller.

Reigning WTCC champion Muller pressured Monteiro into a mistake at the final corner at the conclusion of the fourth lap. But in the confusion as Monteiro ran off the road, dropping to seventh, Muller was jumped by an opportunistic Tom Chilton on the exit.

ROAL Chevrolet driver Chilton kept Muller in his mirrors until the final lap. The Alsace star finally achieved an overlap on Chilton's Cruze onto the pits straight, setting up a successful passing move at Turn 1.

The sixth round of the championship at Moscow Raceway marked the first appearance of the season of Ma Qing Hua in a fourth Citroen C-Elysee. The Chinese driver worked his way up from ninth to sixth, lapping at a respectable pace compared to teammates Loeb and Muller.

Chilton's ROAL teammate Tom Coronel, who qualified a lowly 13th after suffering an oversteer moment at Turn 3 on Saturday, produced an exuberant, rally-style maneuver at the final corner to pass Zengo Motorsport driver Norbert Michelisz for eighth.

Race two polesitter Hugo Valente was knocked out of the race by the wayward Campos Chevrolet of teammate Dusan Borkovic at the end of lap two. Borkovic reported that his car had previously sustained damage on the opening lap, affecting the tow and braking, which may have contributed to the accident.

Results - 16 laps:Pos  Driver                Team/Car             Time/Gap
 1.  Jose Maria Lopez      Citroen            27m05.120s
 2.  Gabriele Tarquini     Honda                 +3.170s
 3.  Sebastien Loeb        Citroen               +3.425s
 4.  Yvan Muller           Citroen               +5.902s
 5.  Tom Chilton           ROAL Chevrolet        +6.816s
 6.  Ma Qing Hua           Citroen               +7.505s
 7.  Tiago Monteiro        Honda                +13.099s
 8.  Tom Coronel           ROAL Chevrolet       +15.061s
 9.  Norbert Michelisz     Zengo Honda          +24.766s
10.  Rob Huff              Lada                 +27.754s
11.  Mehdi Bennani         Proteam Honda        +28.067s
12.  Gianni Morbidelli     Munnich Chevrolet    +28.579s
13.  Rene Munnich          Munnich Chevrolet    +29.323s
14.  James Thompson        Lada                 +35.188s
15.  Mikhail Kozlovskiy    Lada                 +38.472s
16.  Franz Engstler        Engstler BMW       +1m12.432s
17.  Pasquale Di Sabatino  Engstler BMW       +1m24.023s
18.  John Filippi          Campos SEAT        +1m37.942s


     Nikita Misiulia       Campos SEAT            7 laps
     Hugo Valente          Campos Chevrolet        1 lap
     Dusan Borkovic        Campos Chevrolet        1 lap

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