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Ma Qing Hua wins red-flagged Vila Real race two

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.

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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.

Race result

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

Complete race results

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