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Sébastien Loeb scores chaotic race two win

Sébastien Loeb scored his third World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) victory in a chaotic race two in Argentina, finishing ahead of Citroën team-mate José María López and Honda’s Tiago Monteiro.

Loeb, along with team-mate Ma Qing Hua, made the most of a chaotic start to lead before the end of the opening lap, with the Frenchman settling into second. However the Chinese racer slid off the track on lap three, gifting Loeb a lead he wouldn’t lose.

Ma would later be forced to pull into the pits to have his radiator cleared of grass, dropping him down the order. He eventually finished in seventh position.

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From tenth on the grid, López was up to fourth by lap three and he passed Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini for second on lap seven following Ma’s demise. However the Argentine was unable to make any significant gains thereafter, finishing the race more than four seconds behind Loeb.

Monteiro completed the podium, having passed his experienced team-mate late in the race, leaving Tarquini to finish in fourth.

Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani took fifth, despite once again being involved in controversial incidents. The Moroccan was running in fourth when he was hit by a passing Yvan Muller on lap 11, dropping him a trio of positions. However unlike the incident he caused in race one with Huff, his C-Elysée turned out to be tough enough to continue in the race. Muller continued, but later ran off the track and collected a radiator full of grass. He eventually finished in 11th after pitting. The Frenchman was later handed a five-place grid penalty for the next round as a result of the contact.

Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz took the chequered flag in sixth, being forced to defend heavily from Citroën’s Ma, who took seventh, in the closing laps. However after the race the positions were swapped by the stewards, as Michelisz was adjudged to have made unfair contact with Ma in his defence.

ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton finished in eighth as the top Chevrolet driver, whilst his team-mate Tom Coronel retired from the race with damage to his car’s flat floor. Coronel had led the race on the opening lap, but slid wide on lap two causing the damage.

WTCC returnee Rickard Rydell finished in ninth in his Nika Honda, with débutant Grégoire Demoustier completing the top ten in his Craft-Bamboo Chevrolet. John Filippi originally finished in 11th but was later handed a post-race 30-second penalty for not keeping pace with the safety car during the earlier safety car period.

As in race one, neither LADAs finished the race. Poleman James Thompson had dropped to tenth after just a handful of corners, and the Brit retired at the end of the opening lap due to the damage caused in race one. Rob Huff also failed to finish, completing just two laps due to damage on his Vesta.

Dušan Borković was running in ninth position until the Serb lost control of his car on lap eight, ripping the front end of his Civic off and forcing him into retirement.

Stefano D’Aste also retired from the race, with the Italian going off on the opening lap. Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente failed to take the start due to his race one accident.

Top ten result

1 9 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 15 LAPS 1:46.708 8
2 37 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 4.690 1:46.723 10
3 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 15 10.149 1:48.125 6
4 2 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 15 11.564 1:48.077 4
5 25 Y Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 14.956 1:47.516 12
6 5 Y Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 15 17.948 1:48.771 17
7 33 MA Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 15 19.697 1:47.558 7
8 3 Y Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 15 21.338 1:48.557 5
9 19 Rickard RYDELL Nika International Honda Civic WTCC 15 30.607 1:49.861 16
10 11 Y Grégoire DEMOUSTIER Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 15 32.304 1:49.579 15

Complete race results

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