Nordschleife, Race 1 : López wins after final-lap Nordschleife drama
Monteiro and Muller out after big shunt
José María López picked up victory in the Opening Race at FIA WTCC Race of Germany after a dramatic final-lap crash eliminated Tiago Monteiro and Yvan Muller.
Monteiro had led from pole position through the first two laps of the Nürburgring, the Citroëns of Muller and López worked their way up to second and third, assisted by Thed Björk pulling out of second place at the end of the grand prix loop on lap two with an oil pressure issue on his Volvo. Muller took a look at passing Monteiro at the end of the second lap, but the Honda driver stayed ahead.
However, Monteiro would go off out of the lead on the final lap, hitting the barriers hard and moving back into the middle of the track. Muller was left with nowhere else to go, while López managed to sneak through into the lead. Both Monteiro and Muller appeared to be unharmed.
López took victory by just over half a second in front of fellow Citroën driver Tom Chilton, who had briefly passed the double world champion on the grand prix loop on the last lap. Though he missed the outright win, Chilton did take the WTCC Trophy victory.
Norbert Michelisz completed the podium for Honda, with Rob Huff finishing fourth from 16th on the grid.
Having been second early on, Mehdi Bennani ran wide and slipped back into the pack, eventually finishing fifth ahead of LADA drivers Hugo Valente and Gabriele Tarquini. Fredrik Ekblom and Nicky Catsburg were next, while Sabine Schmitz picked up 10th on her return to WTCC action at her home circuit.
Tom Coronel had been fifth when he went off on the final lap, ruling him out of starting third on the grid for the Main Race.
|1||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen Total WTCC||Citroen||3 laps|
|2||Tom Chilton||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+0.526|
|3||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||+6.653|
|4||Rob Huff||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||+7.971|
|5||Mehdi Bennani||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+10.126|
|6||Hugo Valente||LADA Sport||Lada||+12.568|
|7||Gabriele Tarquini||LADA Sport||Lada||+12.890|
|8||Fredrik Ekblom||Polestar Cyan||Volvo||+12.983|
|9||Nicky Catsburg||LADA Sport||Lada||+20.389|
|10||Sabine Schmitz||Munnich Motorsport||Chevrolet||+29.462|
|11||Grégoire Demoustier||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+36.301|
|13||Tiago Monteiro||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||DNF|
|14||Yvan Muller||Citroen Total WTCC||Citroen||DNF|
|15||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet||DNF|
|16||Thed Bjork||Polestar Cyan||Volvo||DNF|
|17||John Filippi||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||DNF|
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