Race One: Lopez wins at home

Lopez is doing his home crowd proud in Argentina.

Pechito López delivered what the thousands of his fans standing under the sun at Termas expected from him.

The Argentine took an authoritative success in Race 1, leading from lights to flag after an impeccable start from the pole. An excellent start of Michelisz and Monteiro gave some emotion to the first phases, but soon the Citroën cars of the two Frenchmen repassed the Honda. The other hero of the day was Norbert Michelisz, who perfectly kept his second position showing consistent pace and managing to keep Muller, Loeb and Monteiro at bay.

Tom Chilton finished 6th and best-placed of the Chevrolet RML cars, while another noticeable fact of the race was that two LADA cars finished in the points. Rob Huff took an excellent 7th, after a consistent race, just ahead of Tarquini, and James Thompson stole tenth in the last corner from Tom Coronel. Franz Engstler won again in TC2 ahead of John Filippi.

Key moments 

Start – Loeb and Muller have a relatively poor start, which allows Michelisz and Monteiro to pass them, while López has a perfect kick-off. 
Lap 1 – The fight is between Monteiro, who cannot keep at bay Muller and Loeb and starts nice fight with Séb for fourth. Valente goes wide on the grass after a contact with Kozlovskiy who hardly avoids spinning.
Lap 2 – It’s Lopez leading ahead of Michelisz, Muller, Loeb, Monteiro, Chilton, Huff and Tarquini.
Lap 4 – Nice fight between Coronel and Borković for tenth, with the two passing each other. It’s all good for Thompson and Morbidelli who both pass the Serbian. 
Lap 5 – Valente stops in the pits with some issue following the incident on lap 2.
Lap 7 – Michelisz has very good pace and is only 2.5 seconds behind López, while Monteiro and Chilton seem to be closing on Loeb (4th)
Lap 9 – Borković pits with a punctured left rear tire; Echevarría pits as well from third in TC2T class behind Engstler and Filippi.
Lap 12 – Muller is closing in on Michelisz for second, but is not in a real position to attack him. 
Lap 13 – López wins comfortably ahead of Michelisz, Muller, Loeb and Monteiro, Chilton, Huff, Tarquini and Bennani, while Thompson pips Coronel for tenth in the last corner.


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About this article
Series WTCC
Event Termas de Rio Hondo
Track Autodromo Termas de Rio Hondo
Drivers Tom Coronel , Yvan Muller , Tom Chilton , James Thompson , Franz Engstler , Rob Huff , Jose Maria Lopez , Norbert Michelisz , John Filippi
Teams Citroën World Rally Team
Article type Race report
Tags citroen