Seals 2013 Yokohama Teams' Trophy
SHANGHAI [China] – Sunday 3 November 2013: Tom Chilton has recorded his second victory in the opening race of today's FIA World Touring Car Championship in China as the Aon-backed racer continues his mission of second place in the Drivers' title behind team-mate - and newly elected 2013 Champion - Yvan Muller.
From the onset Tuenti Racing's Pepe Oriola stole the early advantage in his RML customer Cruze (on wets), taking the lead and gaining time over Muller and Chilton but as the laps counted down, the drying track ensured the RML pairing came back into favour.
A mid-race pass from Muller under braking allowed the Frenchman to regain the lead from Oriola, shortly followed by Chilton as the slicks proved to be the correct decision.
Setting the fastest lap and already with a gap of five seconds over third-placed Oriola, Chilton was the man on the move. And in inching ever closer to the race leader, the teammates put on a show of expert race-craft with thrilling door-to-door competition through the last corner. Chilton just edged ahead on the run to the line to claim his second WTCC win of the year.
Race two proved a little more frustrating with traffic hampering any hopes of the RML duo emerging at the front end.
From reverse grid positions, Chilton and Muller lined up 9th & 10th on a dry track and whilst the later was able to progress to 6th, Chilton was caught out with contact and the Briton fell back to 11th.
Upfront Honda were controlling the race with Tiago Monteiro leading from Gabriele Tarquini, as privateer Norbert Michelisz headed a five-car train over the ensuing laps.
The highlight for Muller came on lap 7 as the Champion seized the opportunity to pass James Nash in a supreme move around the outside of the current Independent's leader and into 5th.
Despite all advances, Muller was unable to pass the ever defensive SEAT of Rob Huff and would finish P5 with team-mate Chilton P10 after a late surge.
Streaking ahead in the Yokohama Teams' Trophy with an 87-point lead, RML has done enough this weekend to secure the title with an insurmountable tally - another key celebration for the UK team as the 2013 campaign reaches its close and 2014 brings the dawn of a new era.
To the Drivers' standings and Tarquini's second place in race two has enabled the Italian to make up lost ground but only 22 points separate him from Chilton in third place and with double-points on offer in Macau, the battle will continue on.
RML dedicates our 1-2 finish to team-mate, Vince Mitchell, who sadly lost his battle to cancer on Friday 1st November having fought so courageously. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.