WTCC: Ma Qing Hua wins intense race 2 in Portugal
It was a day of incidents and accidents from start to finish at the WTCC race two in Portugal. None of those however could faze Citroen driver Ma Qing Hua who not only had a pole position but also ended up winning the race. Yvan Muller, also a fellow Citroen driver, finished second, while in third spot was Italian Gabriele Tarquini.
The start of the race was very eventful with Tiago Monteiro causing some pinball trying to pass between the two Lada’s, but he failed and went straight in the wall.
The Portuguese obviously tried to give local fans something to cheer for, but he wasn’t careful enough and that was the end of the race for him. His mistake also forced Jaap van Lagen and Stefano D’Aste to retire as their cars were unable to continue.
While Ma Qing Hua and Yvan Muller were quite safe at positions one and two, the battle for the third spot was very intensive and Nick Catsburg had to resist huge pressure by Tarquini, Norbert Michelisz, Loeb and Jose Maria Lopez.
Tarquini was able to use Catsburg’s mistake after Lada driver went too wide. Michelisz and Sebastien Loeb tried to go around each side, but that didn’t work and the former WRC champion spun out. That wasn’t the end of excitement at Vila Real as Nick Catsburg had a huge crash. Dutch driver of Lada Vesta went into the wall and officials immediately decided to stop the race, two laps before the end.
Ma Qing Hua won the second race of his career ahead of his teammate Yvan Muller, while Gabriele Tarquini in a Honda completed a podium. Norbert Michelisz was fourth but again the best of all Yokohama Drivers trophy contenders, while first race winner Jose Maria Lopez finished fifth.
This was last WTCC race in Europe this season; the next meet is scheduled for Japan on the 13th of September.