Losail, Race 2: Muller beats Loeb to second with win

as Michelisz takes Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy

By Franck Drui

27 November 2015 - 21:35
Losail, Race 2: Muller beats Loeb (...)

Yvan Muller has beaten Sébastien Loeb to the runner-up spot in the FIA World Touring Car Championship by a solitary point after winning the second FIA WTCC DHL Race of Qatar under the floodlights of the Losail International Circuit.

Meanwhile, Norbert Michelisz did enough to fend off Mehdi Bennani for the Yokohama Drivers’ Trrophy.

John Filippi gave his all to keep Yvan Muller behind on the charge to the first corner. Although Muller initially got ahead, Filippi fought back at Turn 1 to hold a lead that would last for five laps while the safety car circulated following a collision between Nicky Catsburg and Stefano D’Aste.

When racing resumed Muller seized his opportunity at T1 as contact with Filippi sent the youngster spinning to the side of the track, while Muller just did enough to keep Ma Qing Hua at bay as he battled to regain control of his Citroën. Even if Filippi had kept Muller behind, his tenure of top spot wouldn’t have lasted after officials deemed the 20-year-old had made a false start, which earned the privateer a drive-through penalty.

While Muller gradually increased his lead over Ma, Loeb was unable to pass Norbert Michelisz for third and the points he needed to secure the runner-up spot in the final table in what is likely to be his final appearance in the WTCC.

Mehdi Bennani took fifth with Hugo Valente sixth, Gabriele Tarquini seventh and José María López eighth after opening-lap contact sent him off track and down to P12. Tiago Monteiro and Nicolas Lapierre completed the top 10 for Honda and LADA respectively with Tom Coronel P12 behind Grégoire Demoustier after starting from the pit lane when an oil leak was discovered during the OSCARO.com Repair Time.

Coronel should have started alongside Filippi on the front row of the grid before his hopes went awry. Tom Chilton fought back from a trip through the gravel on lap one to finish P13 ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah and Filippi. Rob Huff pitted his LADA with five laps remaining.

Pos. Driver Team Car Time
1 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 14 laps
2 Ma Qing Hua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen +5.264
3 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda +6.340
4 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen +7.243
5 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen +7.788
6 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet +10.145
7 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda +10.650
8 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen +11.682
9 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda +15.098
10 Nicolas Lapierre LADA Sport Rosneft Lada +16.975
11 Grégoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet +19.243
12 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet +20.580
13 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet +21.655
14 Nasser Al-Attiyah Campos Racing Chevrolet +26.965
15 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet +57.065
16 Robert Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada DNF
17 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada DNS
18 Stefano D’Aste Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet DNS



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