Citroën’s José María López won the penultimate World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race of the season in Macau, finishing ahead of a Honda trio headed up by Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz.
López cruised to his tenth win of the season from pole position, whilst behind him his Citroën team-mates struggled to maintain their qualifying form.
Sébastien Loeb, who started alongside López on the front row of the grid, lost out to Michelisz at the very start of the race. The former rally star tried to keep the pressure on the Hungarian, but on lap three he locked up at Lisboa corner and lost ground at the only real overtaking opportunity on the circuit.
Loeb’s mistake allowed three cars to pass, the first of which was an under the weather Gabriele Tarquini. The Italian would maintain third for the remainder of the race despite his condition.
Tiago Monteiro finished the race in fourth, despite trying hard to pass his works’ Honda team-mate throughout the race. The Portuguese driver also had to defend from the Citroën of Yvan Muller, who finished fifth after having lost out to the Honda trio on the opening lap of the race.
Following his earlier mistake Loeb finished the race in sixth and failed to consistently challenge Muller for the position ahead, guaranteeing his fellow Frenchman second overall in the championship.
ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel finished the race as the top Chevrolet driver in seventh, ahead of the fourth Citroën of Ma Qing Hua, who passed three cars in the race to take eighth.
LADA’s Rob Huff was ninth, losing just one place from his grid position when Ma passed him into Lisboa on lap three due to a superior straightline speed advantage.
Münnich Motorsport’s Gianni Morbidelli completed the top ten, although the Italian benefitted the most from a bizarre penultimate lap incident involving Proteam Racing’s Mehdi Bennani and Campos Racing’s TC2 entry of Henry Kwong. As the Moroccan went to lap the slower car on the start straight, Kwong moved over and hit the TC1 car, sending Bennani into a slide which ended with frontal contact with the barriers and a retirement from the race.
Franz Engstler took class victory in TC2, even finishing ahead of the TC1 Chevrolet of René Münnich. John Filippi was once again second in class, and the only Campos driver not to crash in the race after one-off drivers Kwong and William Lok both experienced self-inflicted contact with the barrier during the race.
Top ten result
|1||37||TC1||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||24:50.183||2:27.338||1|
|2||5||TC1||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||10||2.741||2:27.956||4|
|3||2||TC1||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||10||3.661||2:27.835||6|
|4||18||TC1||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||10||4.055||2:27.492||7|
|5||1||TC1||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||4.589||2:27.558||3|
|6||9||TC1||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||5.186||2:27.570||2|
|7||4||TC1||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||10||9.338||2:28.446||5|
|8||33||TC1||MA Qing Hua||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||10||10.008||2:28.118||11|
|9||12||TC1||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport||LADA Granta 1.6T||10||15.548||2:28.480||8|
|10||10||TC1||Gianni MORBIDELLI||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||10||19.201||2:28.610||12|