Lopez continued where he left off
Winner of the first race in the new World Touring Car Championship at Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina is local hero and reigning champion Jose Maria Lopez.
Citroen held 1-2-3 at the start, but lost fourth place after poor start of Ma Qing Hua. Honda’s factory team drivers Monteiro and Tarquini moved up, but best start had Norbert Michelisz who jumped from bottom to 9th position. While Lopez, Muller and Loeb comfortably were in front, in the middle of the grid was much more thrilling.
Filippi and Thompson had small collision after which both had to go to pit and retire very soon after accident. Rob Huff was in good spirit and he was moving up, but Mehdi Bennani stopped Lada Sport’s driver rush blocking him in fourth round and causing another colision. Hugo Valente’s car problems continued and French driver had to retire. His team had hard task to prepare car after troubles throughout whole weekend, but bad luck couldn’t be stopped.
Citroen’s trio held their positions until the end, leaving two Hondas behind them, while Norbert Michelisz took sixth place what was excellent after starting from 17th position. In points zone also finished Ma Qing Hua, Tom Chilton, Stefano D’Aste and Rikard Rydell.
Dusan Borkovic finished just behind points at 11th, Gregoire Demoustier was 12th, while Bennani was the last of the drivers which has completed all 13 laps of the first race.