López doubles up as LADA take first podium

López doubles up as LADA take first podium

Photo by FIA WTCC Media

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

137TC1José María LÓPEZCitroën Total WTCCCitroën C-Elysée WTCC1323:16.7161:45.92610
212TC1Rob HUFFLADA Sport LukoilLADA Granta 1.6T131.8631:47.0491
31TC1Yvan MULLERCitroën Total WTCCCitroën C-Elysée WTCC132.8961:46.4439
42TC1Gabriele TARQUINICastrol Honda WTC TeamHonda Civic WTCC135.3111:47.2504
518TC1Tiago MONTEIROCastrol Honda WTC TeamHonda Civic WTCC135.8931:47.2766
69TC1Sébastien LOEBCitroën Total WTCCCitroën C-Elysée WTCC136.5231:46.7508
75TC1Norbert MICHELISZZengő MotorsportHonda Civic WTCC136.9781:46.7407
898TC1Dušan BORKOVIĆNIS Petrol by Campos RacingChevrolet RML Cruze TC11315.2641:47.21714
925TC1Mehdi BENNANIProteam RacingHonda Civic WTCC1316.4641:47.1083
1011TC1James THOMPSONLADA Sport LukoilLADA Granta 1.6T1316.811:47.46713

Complete race results