WTCC: Lopez wins race 1 in Portugal
Jose Maria Lopez strengthened his WTCC lead after winning race 1 at Vila Real street circuit in Portugal. Reigning champion in Citroen was on top from start to finish and triumphed in front of his teammate Sebastien Loeb, while Yokohama Drivers trophy leader Norbert Michelisz in Honda finished third.
Lopez and Loeb kept their positions after the start, while Hugo Valente had a problem and soon was forced to retire, just as Nestor Girolami after problem with oil pressure. Citroen’s leading pair was chased by three Hondas with Norbert Michelisz, Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro, while Ma Qing Hua desperately tried to sneak into the top five, but all his attacks were defended by Portuguese racer.
Yvan Muller moved up to to seventh, followed by three Lada Vestas with Jaap van Lagen, Nick Catsburg and Rob Huff. Just it was the case during qualifying, all Chevroletes were totally out with almost no chances to fight for the points.
Nothing really important or interesting had happened in the second half of the race. Looked like nobody is ready to risk something on narrow street circuit and only aim was to save cars in one piece for the second race.
“Pechito” Lopez crossed a finish line first, while Loeb completed Citroen’s 1-2 in Portugal. Podium is completed with Hungarian Norbert Michelisz, while another two Hondas, with Gabriele Tarquini and local crowd favorite Tiago Monteiro, were fourth and fifth.
Two Citroens with Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller were sixth and seventh. Another points scored Lada’s trio – Jaap van Lagen, Nick Catsburg and Rob Huff.
Stay tuned as the start of the race 2 at Vila Real is scheduled for 18:15 CET!