WTCC: Tom Chilton holds off Rob Huff to win at Monza
Tom Chilton (Sebastien Loeb Racing) wins the Opening race of the FIA WTCC weekend at Autodromo Nazionale Monza. For the British driver in the #3 Citroen C-Elysee it’s fifth WTCC victory in a career and the first in this season. Chilton holds off the fellow Briton Rob Huff in Munnich Motorsport’s Citroen while Tiago Monteiro (Honda Racing Team JAS) finished in the third place.
Chilton started fourth on the grid and progressed to P2 in the opening lap but then dropped to P4 on lap 2. In the next two laps, all three front-runners were out of race so Chilton inherited a lead and stayed in front until the end. Third-placed Nestor Girolami (Volvo) retired on lap 2 because of broken rear right wheel. Mehdi Bennani (Citroen) and Norbert Michelicz (Honda) retired after a contact in Parabolica when Michelisz attacked Bennani in a fight for the lead.
Tom Coronel was the poleman in the Opening race due to reversed grid but his Chevrolet Cruze stalled twice, first in the warm up lap and then on the green lights. He dropped to the tail of the field but fought back to P6. Volvo’s Thed Bjork,who will start Main race from pole, finished fourth in the opening race, ahead of Campos Racing’s Esteban Guerrieri.