WTCC: Lopez heads Citroen's 1-2-3 in Shanghai
Jose Maria Lopez is the winner of the WTCC first race in Shanghai. Citroen secured their second Constructors’ championship title in a row as Yvan Muller and Sebastien Loeb completed a podium.
Safety car was on track just after the start. Ma Qing Hua stayed stuck, while Rob Huff and Tom Coronel crashed in turn 1 and were forced to retire. Gabriele Tarquini and Jon Filippi were also involved in the accident and also had to retire, just as Tom Chilton who couldn’t avoid the accident.
The race was restarted in sixth lap, but only 12 drivers were left in the race. Three Citroens were on top of the grid – Jose Maria Lopez was the leader, Yvan Muller second and Sebastien Loeb third. Ma Qing Hua recovered and moved to eighth what was enough to secure Constructors’ championship title to French manufacturer for the second time in a row.
But, Chinese driver had to retire with four laps remaining leaving his teammates to fight for victory. Pechito Lopez saved the first place and clinched his eighth win this season. Yvan Muller was second with a gap of 2.4s and Loeb finished third 3.4s behind the Argentinian.
Nick Catsburg was fourth, Mehdi Bennani fifth and Norbert Michelisz, Nicolas Lapierre, Tiago Monteiro, Hugo Valente and Stefano D’Aste scored the remaining points, as they were the only drivers who managed to finish the race.