Morocco WTCC: Hondas dominate as Huff heads 1-2-3

Rob Huff led home teammates Norbert Michelisz and Tiago Monteiro to claim a Honda 1-2-3 at a wet Marrakech main race.

Morocco WTCC: Hondas dominate as Huff heads 1-2-3
Polesitter Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Yvan Muller, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Rob Huff, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Yvan Muller, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
James Thompson, All-Inkl Motorsport, Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1
Nicky Catsburg, LADA Sport Rosneft, Lada Vesta
José María López, Citroën World Touring Car Team, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC
Mehdi Bennani, Sébastien Loeb Racing, Citroën C-Elysée WTCC

Despite having been third briefly, Jose Maria Lopez eventually finished fourth in his Citroen. At the start the Hondas retained their positions, with Huff ahead of Michelisz and Monteiro.

But the Portuguese was overtaken by Lopez on the first lap for third. Tom Coronel was in fifth, but an incident before the hairpin shook the order up, with Thed Bjork also losing ground.

As a result Yvan Muller was fifth ahead of Lada's Hugo Valente, with Mehdi Bennani in seventh after a very good start ahead of Gabriele Tarquini, while Coronel and Tom Chilton completed the top ten.

On the following lap, though, James Thompson jumped up to tenth and started attacking Coronel, starting an entertaining and very fair battle.

Tarquini also overtook Bennani, while up ahead there was minor contact between Lopez and Monteiro as the two battled it out for third, but the Citroen driver went wide at the hairpin and the Portuguese was through.

A contact between Lada teammates Tarquini and Valente outside Turn 1 allowed the Italian through on lap 7.

And soon after that Michelisz made a mistake at Turn 5, with Monteiro behind him not able to exploit his teammate's error. From then on the top four ran together, but there were no further attacks.

More drama came when Coronel went wide and had a slide at Turn 5, meaning Thompson sneaked through, soon imitated by Chilton.

Towards the end of the race Thompson was on the roll and got very close to Bennani, but was not able to try an overtaking move as the race was over.

Huff won ahead of Michelisz and Monteiro as Lopez finished fourth, meaning the Argentinian increased his lead in the championship to Monteiro by three points to 14.

Muller finished fifth for Citroen ahead of Lada teammates Tarquini and Valente, while Bennani won the Independents' trophy with eighth outright.

A spectacular race earned Thompson his first points in the 2016 season at the wheel of the Chevrolet with Chilton completing the top ten for Sebastien Loeb Racing.

Main race results:

PosDriverCarTime
1 United KingdomRob Huff  Honda 34:31.337
2 HungaryNorbert Michelisz  Honda +0.611
3 PortugalTiago Monteiro  Honda +1.251
4 ArgentinaJose Maria Lopez  Citroen +2.710
5 FranceYvan Muller  Citroen +9.916
6 ItalyGabriele Tarquini  Lada +10.517
7 FranceHugo Valente  Lada +32.503
8 MoroccoMehdi Bennani  Citroen +36.143
9  James Thompson  Chevrolet +37.222
10 United KingdomTom Chilton  Citroen +44.097
11 NetherlandsNicky Catsburg  Lada +46.695
12 NetherlandsTom Coronel  Chevrolet +1:04.823
13 FranceJohn Filippi  Chevrolet +1:07.716
14 HungaryFerenc Ficza  Honda +1:08.035
15 SwedenThed Björk  Volvo +1 lap
16 SwedenFredrik Ekblom  Volvo +1 lap
R Grégoire Demoustier  Citroen  

Pietro Casillo / TouringCarTimes

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Morocco WTCC: Coronel holds off Lopez to win amid carnage
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