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José María López wins in Marrakech as Citroën score 1-2-3-4-5

Reigning World Touring Car Champion José María López won the opening WTCC race in Marrakech ahead of team-mates Ma Qing Hua and Sébastien Loeb, as Citroën scored their first 1-2-3-4-5 result in the series.

López was unchallenged in the race, getting a strong start and scoring a comfortable lights-to-flag win to take his second victory of the season. Ma was never close enough to challenge, but was equally unchallenged from behind and able to take his third podium finish in the series.

Loeb in third had a more difficult job, as the former rally champion had to put up a stern defence from home hero Mehdi Bennani. The Moroccan driver made an attempted pass on Loeb at turn four on lap nine, but was forced to give the position back after cutting the chicane. A second attempt followed a couple of laps later, but ultimately Bennani had to settle for fourth.

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Yvan Muller made it a perfect result for Citroën with fifth, coming from 11th on the grid. The Frenchman made most of his positions up on the opening lap, after which he was in sixth. It took Muller until lap nine to eventually pass Honda’s Tiago Monteiro for fifth, leaving the Portuguese driver to settle for sixth.

Gabriele Tarquini brought the second works’ Honda home in seventh after a relatively tame race for the Italian, ahead of the independent Zengő Motorsport Civic of Norbert Michelisz in eighth.

Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste finished in ninth, having started in the positon and not gained or lost any places over the course of the race.

Tom Chilton took the flag in tenth after an eventful race. The Brit clouted ROAL Motorsport team-mate Tom Coronel at the first chicane on the back straight on the opening lap, resulting in significant damage to the front-right of Coronel’s Chevrolet and forcing him into retirement on lap one.

Rob Huff was the top LADA in 11th, finishing directly ahead of team-mates James Thompson and Mikhail Kozlovskiy, benefitting when Chilton past the pair to also slip through.

Hugo Valente was classified in 15th position, three laps down, after a problem at the start of the race left him stranded on the grid.

Top ten result

1 37 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 24:31.802 1:43.847 1
2 33 MA Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 0.942 1:44.385 3
3 9 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 4.492 1:44.497 5
4 25 Y Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 5.405 1:44.357 2
5 68 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 14 21.617 1:45.272 11
6 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 22.986 1:45.730 4
7 2 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 14 23.41 1:45.464 8
8 5 Y Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 14 24.799 1:45.554 7
9 26 Y Stefano D’ASTE ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 26.904 1:45.736 9
10 3 Y Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 14 30.552 1:45.562 14

Complete race results

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