Citroën’s Ma Qing Hua won the second World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) race in Vila Real, Portugal, after the race was red-flagged early due to an accident for LADA’s Nicky Catsburg.
Ma started the race from pole position and was in control throughout, steadily pulling away from second-placed Yvan Muller, who had no answer to the Chinese driver at the front.
LADA’s Jaap van Lagen started the race in third on the grid, but the Dutchman got off to a poor start which allowed Honda’s Tiago Monteiro to pull alongside. At the same time, Van Lagen’s team-mate Catsburg pulled alongside, squeezing Monteiro and causing both the Honda and Van Lagen to hit the wall on the inside of the track.
The accident resulted in the deployment of the safety car, and also took out Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste, who hit the loose wheel from Monteiro’s Civic at full speed.
When racing resumed on lap six Catsburg found himself defending from the Honda of Gabriele Tarquin, whilst the leading Citroëns pulled away. Lap ten saw Tarquini finally take the position from the Dutchman, who then made contact with Sébastien Loeb who tried to take advantage of the off-line LADA.
Loeb retired from the race in the barriers, whilst Catsburg took avoiding action to go down the escape road and emerge in sixth position. Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz, who made contact with Catsburg in the incident, and José María López both managed to slip through into fourth and fifth position respectively, where they would be classified.
The race then came to a premature end just one lap later when Catsburg appeared to clip the inside barrier, pitching his car heavily into the Armco on the outside of the circuit, causing extensive damage to both his car and the wall. The race was immediately red-flagged.
Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente finished in seventh, having been on the end of the train which was caught up behind the LADA, ahead of Nika Racing’s Néstor Girolami in eighth.
LADA’s Rob Huff and Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani completed the top ten, with the latter lucky to score a point in an inconspicuous weekend for the Moroccan.
ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel finished in 11th, just missing out on the points as the Chevrolet drivers continued to struggle, with four of the RML-built cars finishing in the bottom positions.
|1||33||MA Qing Hua||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||11||11 LAPS||2:01.994||1|
|2||68||Yvan MULLER||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||11||5.573||2:02.694||2|
|3||2||Gabriele TARQUINI||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||11||10.812||2:03.356||6|
|4||5||Y||Norbert MICHELISZ||Zengő Motorsport||Honda Civic WTCC||11||11.982||2:03.098||7|
|5||37||José María LÓPEZ||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||11||12.423||2:02.981||10|
|6||10||Nick CATSBURG||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||11||15.177||2:03.215||4|
|7||7||Y||Hugo VALENTE||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||15.639||2:02.684||8|
|8||29||Néstor GIROLAMI||Nika International||Honda Civic WTCC||11||16.060||2:03.127||12|
|9||12||Rob HUFF||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||11||16.669||2:03.402||13|
|10||25||Y||Mehdi BENNANI||Sébastien Loeb Racing||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||11||17.174||2:03.263||11|
|11||4||Y||Tom CORONEL||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||18.055||2:03.310||15|
|12||11||Y||Grégoire DEMOUSTIER||Craft-Bamboo Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||25.619||2:04.386||18|
|13||3||Y||Tom CHILTON||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||28.318||2:05.180||16|
|14||27||Y||John FILIPPI||Campos Racing||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||11||31.126||2:04.990||17|
|R||9||Sébastien LOEB||Citroën Total WTCC||Citroën C-Elysée WTCC||9||2 Laps||2:03.556||9|
|R||26||Y||Stefano D’ASTE||ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport||Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1||1||10 Laps||–||14|
|R||46||Jaap VAN LAGEN||LADA Sport Rosneft||LADA Vesta WTCC||0||11 Laps||–||3|
|R||18||Tiago MONTEIRO||Castrol Honda WTC Team||Honda Civic WTCC||0||11 Laps||–||5|