López doubles up as LADA take first podium
José María López became the first World Touring Car Championship driver of the season to win both races in a weekend in race two in Argentina, as Rob Huff scored LADAs first-ever podium in second.
López enjoyed a dream weekend on home soil in Argentina, adding to his victory in the first race of the day by scything his way through the field from tenth on the grid in race two.
The championship leader crucially got past title rival Yvan Muller on the second lap of the race and has now extended his lead over the Frenchman to 60 points.
Poleman Huff held on to take second, having led the first eight laps of the race. The result marks the first-ever podium finish for LADA in the WTCC, since the marque first appeared in the 2008 season.
The final podium position went to Muller as the reigning champion was unable to carve his way through the field as easily as his team-mate.
Works Honda drivers Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro missed out on a podium result and took fourth and fifth respectively, despite having ran behind early race leader Huff.
Sébastien Loeb finished in sixth, again unable to make the same rapid progress as his experienced circuit racing team-mates. The Citroën driver made slight contact with Tom Chilton when moving into sixth, but held on to the position.
Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz finished in seventh, ahead of Campos Racing’s Dušan Borković in eighth, with the Serb being the only Chevrolet driver inside the top ten.
Completing the top ten were Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani in ninth and LADA’s James Thompson in tenth. Bennani had moved into second at the start of the race, but the Moroccan dropped down the order at the half-way stage of the race.
Tom Coronel finished outside the points in 11th for the second consecutive race. Gianni Morbidelli also failed to score any points, with the Münnich Motorsport driver handed a drive-through penalty for contact with Thompson early on in the race.
Victory in the TC2 category went to Franz Engstler once again ahead of one-time team-mate Camilo Echevarría.
Hugo Valente, who started the race on the front row of the grid, endured his second retirement of the weekend and stopped after eight laps. ROAL Motorsport’s Chilton also pulled off the circuit on the same lap.
There will now be a two month break before the series resumes in Beijing on the 4th and 5th October.
Top ten result
|1||37||TC1||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||23:16.716||1:45.926||10|
|2||12||TC1||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Lukoil||LADA Granta 1.6T||13||1.863||1:47.049||1|
|3||1||TC1||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||2.896||1:46.443||9|
|4||2||TC1||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||13||5.311||1:47.250||4|
|5||18||TC1||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||13||5.893||1:47.276||6|
|6||9||TC1||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||13||6.523||1:46.750||8|
|7||5||TC1||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||13||6.978||1:46.740||7|
|8||98||TC1||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||NIS Petrol by Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||13||15.264||1:47.217||14|
|9||25||TC1||Mehdi BENNANI||Proteam Racing||Honda Civic WTCC||13||16.464||1:47.108||3|
|10||11||TC1||James THOMPSON||LADA Sport Lukoil||LADA Granta 1.6T||13||16.81||1:47.467||13|