Yvan Muller scored his fourth win of the season as he won the opening World Touring Car Championship race at Spa-Francorchamps, ahead of Citroën team-mates José María López and Sébastien Loeb.
Muller led away from the line and had a comfortable lead throughout the nine-lap race as his Citroën team-mates squabbled behind him. The win moves him to within 32 points of championship leader López.
Argentine López finished in second after passing Loeb at Les Combes on the final lap of the race, having been glued to the rear bumper of the former rally star throughout. Loeb would finish third, unable to retake the position from his team-mate.
Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli finished in fourth after a strong start which saw him move from ninth on the grid to fifth at the start of the race. The Italian had to defend heavily from ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel at the end of the race, however.
The Dutchman himself pipped Honda’s Tiago Monteiro to sixth by just 0.073 seconds exiting the final chicane on the final lap after an extremely close four-car battle for fourth.
Gabriele Tarquini finished in eighth, with the Honda driver losing the most ground at the start of the race when he was battling with Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente for fourth. The duo went side-by-side into Eau Rouge, but Tarquini had to back out and lost several positions along the subsequent straight.
Dušan Borković finished as the top Campos driver in ninth despite having started from the back of the grid, ahead of ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton in tenth.
Ma Qing Hua just missed out on the points and was 11th, despite the Citroën driver completing most of the race with a damaged front windscreen.
Following drive-through penalties for exceeding the track limits, Valente and Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani finished the race in 12th and 13th positions respectively. Valente’s penalty came for running wide and gaining an advantage exiting turn one on the opening lap, whilst Bennani was penalised for overtaking two cars whilst cutting the chicane at Les Combes further around the lap.
The top LADA driver was Mikhail Kozlovskiy in 14th; lead driver Rob Huff had a tough race, spinning into the gravel on the opening lap and finishing down in 16th.
Liqui Moly Team Engstler’s Franz Engstler once again won the TC2 class, ahead of Campos Racing’s John Filippi and WTCC débutee Norbert Nagy.
Top ten result
|1||1||TC1||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||22:09.364||2:26.579||1|
|2||37||TC1||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||3.689||2:26.967||3|
|3||9||TC1||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||4.318||2:27.043||2|
|4||10||TC1||Gianni MORBIDELLI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||21.125||2:27.610||9|
|5||4||TC1||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||21.998||2:28.119||7|
|6||18||TC1||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||9||22.071||2:28.016||10|
|7||5||TC1||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||9||23.517||2:28.183||6|
|8||2||TC1||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||9||24.350||2:27.992||5|
|9||98||TC1||Dušan BORKOVIĆ||NIS Petrol by Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||30.094||2:28.011||21|
|10||3||TC1||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||9||30.940||2:27.742||11|