López denies Honda first win of season

López denies Honda first win of season

Photo by Citroën S.A

Photo by Citroën S.AJosé María López scored his second World Touring Car Championship victory of the season in race two at Paul Ricard, beating team-mate Yvan Muller and denying Tigao Monteiro Honda’s first win of the year.

At the start of the race poleman Mehdi Bennani got off to a sluggish start, allowing Monteiro to surge through from third on the grid between Bennani and René Münnich.

Further back on the opening lap there was contact between Tom Chilton and Gabriele Tarquini, and later on in the lap with Gianni Morbidelli. With the Italian being turned around, Chilton would later receive a drive-through penalty for the contact.

After five laps Honda looked to be in a strong position, with Monteiro leading from Tarquini and Proteam’s Bennani. However on lap seven Sébastien Loeb made contact with a tyre stack on the inside of the chicane whilst running in ninth, resulting in the safety car being deployed to clear up the errant tyres.

There was just one lap of racing after the safety car returned to the pits due to young French rookie John Filippi locking up and driving into the side of Franz Engstler at turn one, resulting in another handful of safety car laps.

The race resumed on lap 13, with López passing Monteiro on the following lap and Muller following his team-mate through.

Monteiro held on to finish in third and take his first podium of the year, ahead of fellow Honda driver Tarquini.

Bennani held on to finish in fifth, his best result of the season so far, with Loeb taking the flag in sixth after being unable to find a way past the Moroccan in the closing stages of the race.

Dušan Borković finished in seventh ahead of Norbert Michelisz, a recovering Morbidelli and Hugo Valente, who lost out to the Italian on the penultimate lap.

Top ten result

POS NO CL DRIVER NAT ENTRANT CAR LAPS TIME GAP GD
1 37 TC1 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 18 18 LAPS 1:31.468 18
2 1 TC1 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 18 1.886 1:31.561 10
3 18 TC1 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 18 7.994 1:32.442 3
4 2 TC1 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 18 8.459 1:32.377 9
5 25 TC1 Mehdi BENNANI Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC 18 17.407 1:33.379 1
6 9 TC1 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 18 17.924 1:33.550 17
7 98 TC1 Dušan BORKOVIĆ NIS Petrol by Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 18 18.592 1:33.510 5
8 5 TC1 Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 18 18.927 1:33.351 7
9 10 TC1 Gianni MORBIDELLI ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 18 20.531 1:33.164 4
10 7 TC1 Hugo VALENTE Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 18 21.787 1:33.486 8

Complete session results