Loeb takes maiden WTCC win in race two of season

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Carnage ensued at the start of race two with then race leader Tom Coronel crashing heavily and collecting Citroën driver Yvan Muller. Sebastien Loeb avoided the chaos however and went on to secure his first WTCC victory.

Sébastian Loeb took his maiden win in the WTCC in what was only his second start in this championship.

He beat team-mate and Race 1 winner José María López. López who is the first leader of the championship, thanks to the pole position points.

The race was marked by an accident at the start between polesetter Tom Coronel and local hero Mehdi Bennani. In the melee, the Citroën of Yvan Muller was also an innocent victim.

At the restart, the two C-Elysée cars took control of the proceedings, cruising to a 1-2 finishing. Hugo Valente took a brilliant first podium with the Campos Racing Chevrolet, ahead of Tom Chilton and Bennani, who completed a brilliant recover after paying a drive-through penalty. Mikhail Kozlovskiy, who scored a remarkable sixth for LADA and also his first WTCC points.

Franz Engstler encored his victory in the TC2T class, ahead of John Filippi who beat Pasquale Di Sabatino for second.

Key Moments

Grid – Thompson (brakes problems), Michelisz (broken steering pump) and Huff (turbo failure) do not take the start.

Start – Coronel takes a better start from the pole, but Bennani holds on and the two collide before the first braking; the Chevrolet spins, hitts the wall and is collected Muller who had no way to avoid the collision. The race is suspended after a couple of laps behind the safety-car.

Restart – After another lap behind the safety-car, Bennani takes the lead while Loeb passes Monteiro. Münnich goes straight at first chicane after losing the front spoiler. Bennani loses the rear bumper in the back straight.

Lap 6 – Loeb takes the lead. Valente and Monteiro clash at turn 10. Münnich retires. At the end of the lap, Bennani serves the drive-through he was given for the accident at the start.

Lap 7 – López passes Valente for third and then Monteiro for second.

Lap 8 – Borković stops on the straight with a fire alert, while Valente passes Monteiro. The safety-car is deployed again to allow removing Borković’s car. Huff takes rejoins of the race from the pits.

Lap 9 – The race restarts, with Loeb ahead of López, Valente, Monteiro, Chilton, Kozlovskiy, Morbidelli and Bennani. Behind them Engstler leads the TC2T classes while Filippi and Di Sabatino fight for second.

Lap 10 – Bennani passes Morbidelli in turn 15.

Lap 11 – Nice fight between Monteiro and Chilton for fourth, while Bennani passes Kozlovskiy.

Lap 12 – Chilton, Monteiro and Bennani continue to fight, with the Moroccan passing the Portuguese in turn 5. Monteiro’s car is losing bodywork pieces.

Lap 14 – López closes on Loeb, while Monteiro slows down with a flat tyre.

Lap 16 – Chilton passes Bennani but somehow cutting the first chicane and giving back the position. Loeb takes win ahead of López, while Chilton pips Bennani right on the finish line for fourth.

FIA WTCC

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About this article
Series WTCC
Article type Race report
Tags josé maría lópez, sebastien loeb, wtcc, yvan muller

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