Lopez says Slovakia win was "a miracle"

Two-time WTCC champion Jose Maria Lopez said it was "a miracle" that his Citroen C-Elysee that took him to victory in Race 2 in Slovakia even made it to the chequered flag.

Lopez says Slovakia win was "a miracle"
Race winner José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC and Nicky Catsburg, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC; Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC; Nicky Catsburg, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Race winner José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC

After finishing fifth in Race 1, Lopez passed both Lada's Nicky Catsburg and teammate Yvan Muller to take the lead early in Race 2.

However, he then slipped behind Catsburg, his Citroen developing a serious problem in the left rear that Lopez believed could have ended his race prematurely at any point.

“I have to thank the team for giving me not only a quick car, but mainly a strong car," he said.

"Everything was normal, the start was very good and it was important to pass Yvan, otherwise it would have been a different story.

"It felt normal in the first two laps, I managed to pull away from Nicky, but then on the third lap I felt a huge vibration and a noise of metal coming from the rear left.

“Every single time I turned to the right I thought my race was over, but then I tried to calm down and get my concentration back."

Despite the problems with his car, Lopez eventually powered past Catsburg on the final lap to take his second win of the season.

"I just wanted [the race] to finish, but then Nicky slowed down a lot and my car was still quite quick, so I thought I’d try - and if something got broken, then so be it.

“It was a gift to finish the race itself, so winning is amazing.

"I was very lucky, I saw the rim after the race and it was completely broken, very close to destruction. It was quite tense but I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a miracle to have finished.”

TouringCarTimes

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