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José María López wins as Citroën takes title

José María López took victory in the first World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race in Shnghai, leading home Ma Qing Hua, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb in a Citroën 1-2-3-4 as the marque scooped the manufacturer’s title.

López lead the race from start to finish and was never really challenged by Ma, who scored his second-ever podium in the series on home soil.

Muller finished the race in third, almost six seconds back from López, having been unable to challenge at any point in the race.

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A resurgent Loeb finished fourth to ensure Citroën scored their first 1-2-3-4 result in the championship. It is also the first 1-2-3-4 for any manufacturer since Brazil 2009.

Loeb did have to work for the result, however, after the Frenchman dropped back to seventh at the start of the race. He passed Tiago Monteiro for sixth with a move at the final corner on lap two, and then Gabriele Tarquini with an excellent move around the outside of turn one just two laps later. Norbert Michelisz presented a defence for a number of laps, before Loeb passed up the inside into the hairpin on lap seven.

Zengő Motorsport’s Michelisz then held station to finish in fifth, ahead of works Honda duo Tarquini and Monteiro, with Tarquini having got the jump on his team-mate at the start of the race.

ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel was the top Chevrolet driver in eighth after a quiet race, ahead of Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente and Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani in tenth.

Tom Chilton had been running in eighth for ROAL Motorsport when, on lap three, the right-rear wheel feel off his Chevrolet. “It was my rear-right which randomly fell off,” said the Brit. “I was flying, doing very competitive lap times, really pushing and the car broke down through no fault of my own. We’re going to have to look into why this happened because I’m really gutted.”

LADA’s Rob Huff was classified in 15th position after suffering damage to the left-front corner of his LADA in an incident with Campos Racing’s Dušan Borković,  who ended the race in 12th.

There were also problems for LADA’s Mikhail; Kozlovskiy, who pitted with technical problems, and James Thompson, who failed to even take the start after a failure of his front-left subframe.

Liqui Moly’s Franz Engstler won the TC2 class ahead of Campos Racing’s John Filippi, whilst there were dramas for William Lok in the category when the Campos driver clipped a tyre stack at the final corner and broke his front-left suspension.

Top ten result

1 37 TC1 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 14 LAPS 1:50.889 1
2 33 TC1 MA Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 2.089 1:50.833 2
3 1 TC1 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 5.793 1:51.458 3
4 9 TC1 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 6.175 1:52.039 5
5 5 TC1 Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 14 16.05 1:52.372 4
6 2 TC1 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 16.483 1:52.355 7
7 18 TC1 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 18.295 1:52.756 6
8 4 TC1 Tom CORONEL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 22.058 1:52.881 11
9 7 TC1 Hugo VALENTE Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 25.896 1:53.152 9
10 25 TC1 Mehdi BENNANI Proteam Racing Honda Civic WTCC 14 26.278 1:53.318 10

Complete race results

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