Slovakia Ring, Race 2: López rebounds to deny Catsburg a WTCC win
Muller finished sixth after falling back
José María López repassed Nicky Catsburg with just one lap remaining to win an enthralling Main Race at the FIA WTCC Race of Slovakia.
López had shot from third to first at the start of the race past his Citroën team-mate Yvan Muller, who was then relegated to third by Catsburg at Turn 2 after contact at the first corner.
After initially building a lead, López then began to struggle with a problem on his car, and Catsburg took the lead away from him out of Turn 1 on lap four. Having only missed out on the fastest time in qualifying by four hundredths of a second, Catsburg was on course to take the first WTCC win for the LADA Vesta but came under attack from López again on the penultimate lap.
López got inside Catsburg at the long right-hander at the end of the lap and was 0.02 seconds ahead at the start of the final lap, making the lead his for good at Turn 1.
Catsburg also fell behind Tiago Monteiro, who followed up his Opening Race victory with a second place. Norbert Michelisz challenged Catsburg’s third place but lost out to Thed Björk, who scored the best result yet for Polestar Cyan Racing in fourth.
Muller finished sixth after falling back due to contact with Rob Huff, whose race ended in a gravel trap with two laps to go. Mehdi Bennani beat his team-mate Tom Chilton to another WTCC Trophy win in seventh, with Fredrik Ekblom ninth and Tom Coronel 10th.
|1||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen Total WTCC||Citroen||12 laps|
|2||Tiago Monteiro||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||+0.700|
|3||Nicky Catsburg||LADA Sport||Lada||+3.260|
|4||Thed Bjork||Polestar Cyan||Volvo||+3.868|
|5||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||+4.620|
|6||Yvan Muller||Citroen Total WTCC||Citroen||+4.737|
|7||Mehdi Bennani||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+5.262|
|8||Tom Chilton||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+5.950|
|9||Fredrik Ekblom||Polestar Cyan||Volvo||+7.551|
|10||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet||+18.969|
|11||John Filippi||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||+19.345|
|12||James Thompson||Munnich Motorsport||Chevrolet||+20.045|
|13||Grégoire Demoustier||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||+21.675|
|14||Gabriele Tarquini||LADA Sport||Lada||+98.571|
|15||Rob Huff||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||DNF|
|16||Hugo Valente||LADA Sport||Lada||DNF|
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