Citroën’s Yvan Muller scored his first World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) win of the season in an eventful race two in Marrakech, ahead of team-mates Sébastien Loeb and José María López.
Muller, who tactically scored pole position for the reverse-grid race with tenth in Saturday qualifying, led the race from start to finish, with Sébastien Loeb finishing in second, benefitting from a first corner skirmish on the opening lap.
It was an eventful race from the very start, with ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel coming off worst for the second successive season in Morocco. Heading into turn one, Coronel was hit by the Honda of Norbert Michelisz, who in turn appeared to have been hit by the Citroën of Ma Qing Hua. The result saw Coronel end his race in the wall, whilst the fast-starting Honda of Tiago Monteiro was also caught up in the drama and retired from the race.
Further around the opening lap, there was a heavy shunt between the LADA of Mikhail Kozlovskiy and Rob Huff at the final corner. Under braking, Kozlovskiy locked his tyres and speared into the back of his team-mate.
The cars in both incidents were quickly cleared without necessitating a safety car intervention, allowing the race to continue.
From tenth on the grid, López was up to fifth by the end of the opening lap and he passed Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente for fourth at the final turn on lap four. López later passed ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Chilton for the final podium position just a handful of laps later.
Despite losing out to the reigning champion, both Chevrolets of Chilton and Valente managed to hold on to fourth and fifth respectively, although Valente came under heavy pressure from Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani in the race.
Zengő Motorsport’s Michelisz finished the race in sixth, ahead of Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini, who passed Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste at the final corner on the final lap. An ailing Bennani, with damage from the aforementioned incidents with Valente, limped home in ninth having lost out to the trio ahead on the back straight on the final lap.
LADA’s James Thompson took a consolatory final point in tenth, ahead of Campos Racing’s John Filippi. The final Citroën of Ma Qing Hua was 12th, having earlier missed his braking point when running in fourth and dropping to the back of the pack.
Top ten result
|1||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||14||24:22.255||1:43.729||1|
|2||9||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||14||0.552||1:43.646||3|
|3||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||14||18.113||1:43.480||10|
|4||3||Y||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||14||22.754||1:44.528||6|
|5||7||Y||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||14||26.49||1:44.652||7|
|6||5||Y||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||14||37.677||1:45.398||5|
|7||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||14||39.496||1:45.199||11|
|8||26||Y||Stefano D’ASTE||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||14||40.215||1:45.415||12|
|9||25||Y||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||14||40.653||1:43.835||9|
|10||15||James THOMPSON||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||14||54.634||1:46.129||17|