Honda's Tiago Monteiro emerged victorious in the WTCC Thailand round's Race 2, which was red-flagged early due to poor visibility.
The Portuguese driver came home ahead of Sebastien Loeb, with Ma Qing Hua completing the podium and newly-crowned World Champion Jose Maria Lopez in fourth.
At the start, Norbert Michelisz retained the lead, but more carnage at the first corner meant Yvan Muller was once again out of contention after a few yards. Bennani also went off in the process, making contact with his fellow Citroen driver, but was able to rejoin the track.
Michelisz was leading from Monteiro, Tom Chilton, Loeb and Ma, but the Portuguese driver soon passed the Hungarian, who was then given a drive-through for Parc Ferme infringements, thus losing all chances of scoring points.
At that point, several battles kicked off, with Loeb overtaking Chilton for second and launching himself in the hunt for Monteiro.
While Chilton defended hard from Ma, Tarquini and Lopez, Rob Huff and Bennani also involved themselves in the fight.
Eventually, Ma passed the Chevrolet driver, with Lopez following through shortly after. Tarquini had also passed Chilton, but the Italian's attempt to find a way past Lopez allowed the Brit to sneak back through into fifth.
Out front, just as Loeb began to dramatically close on Monteiro, the race was red-flagged with two laps to run.
As such, Monteiro was given the win, ahead of Citroen trio Loeb, Ma and Lopez, with the ROAL Motorsport driver Chilton in fifth on lap countback, despite having been overtaken by several cars in the dying seconds.
Tarquini came home sixth ahead of Huff’s Lada Vesta, with Bennani taking eighth. Stefano D’Aste finished a good ninth ahead of Tin Sritrai, who once again scored a point in his home race.
The results are however sub judice as several investigations will be carried out after the race, including Bennani’s accident at the first corner as well as two separate incidents involving Lopez. one with team-mate Ma and another with Tarquini.
|3||Ma Qing Hua||Citroen||7.784|
|4||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen||12.596|
Pietro Casillo / TouringCarTimes