Wins for Tarquini and Bennani in the WTCC Race of Qatar
Mehdi Bennani was the fastest in qualifying and won the pole position for the main race in front of Thed Bjork in Volvo. Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller finished 3rd and 4th respectively in the qualifying for their last race in the WTCC. Norbert Michelisz failed to score a lap time after making contact with a tire stack marking the track limit. Tom Chilton won the reverse pole for the Opening race finishing 10th in the qualifying.
Sebastien Loeb Racing completed a perfect afternoon in Qatar as its three drivers secured victory for Citroen in the MAC3. Neither Honda or LADA were able to take part in WTCC MAC3.
The safety car was deployed soon after the start. Tiago Monteiro was unable to continue the race after his Honda was damaged in the contact with Lopez’s Citroen. The Portuguese’s car hit the Lada of Hugo Valente and the Frenchman also retired. The race was suspended on lap 3 but was resumed after 25 minutes.
Chilton still was on the top, followed by Gabriele Tarquini, Rob Huff, and Muller. The Italian veteran did a great job right after the restart and took the lead and easily kept it until the end of the race to score his second win of the season and 22nd of his WTCC career. Chilton was 2nd while Huff had to settle for the 3rd position.
Just like in the opening race, the safety car was deployed on the first lap in the main race, too. There were a couple of accidents that left Valente, Chilton, and Dahlgren out of the race, while Catsburg returned to the track after changing a right front tire.
In the halfway of the race, Bennani was in charge, followed by Bjork zipped over unmotivated Lopez, while Michelisz took 4th place from Muller. Bjork was all over the Moroccan driver during most of the race but Bennani was calm enough to keep the lead and to win the race what is his third triumph in the WTCC.
Bjork must be happy with the 2nd place while Lopez completed the podium. Michelisz finished 4th while Monteiro grabbed 5th place after overtaking Muller in the final lap what was enough to keep him in the 3rd position in the Drivers’ championship. Muller, Tarquini, Huff, Tom Coronel, and Thompson picked up the remaining points in the season-closing race.