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José María López wins in Shanghai ahead of chaos behind

José María López scored his eighth win of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) season ahead of team-mate Yvan Muller in race one in Shanghai, as Citroën scooped the manufacturer’s title.

Pole man López enjoyed a comfortable lights-to-flag win to help Citroën take the manufacturer’s title, whilst also extending his lead over title rival Muller, who had to settle for second with no answer to the reigning champion’s pace.

Sébastien Loeb completed the podium clean-sweep for Citroën, after the Frenchman got past the LADA of Nicky Catsburg at the start of the race.

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Whilst it may have appeared relatively controlled at the front of the field, there was chaos behind on the opening lap which took out five of the established runners.

Heading into turn one, the field bunched up as it went around the long right-hander, and ROAL Motorsport’s Tom Coronel went into the back of Campos Racing’s John Filippi, having himself been helped from behind. The result saw Filippi spin in front of the pack, his Chevrolet collecting the right-rear wheel of Coronel in the process and forcing both out of the race, with Coronel’s car stranded in the middle of the track.

Also involved in the turn one dramas was the second ROAL Motorsport car of Tom Chilton, who went into the back of Sébastien Loeb Racing’s Mehdi Bennani. The contact caused considerable damage to the front end of Chilton’s car, which returned to the pits in need of a new radiator assembly before race two.

Further around at turn two, Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini got alongside the LADA of Rob Huff and the two made contact, breaking the left-rear suspension on Huff’s car and damaging Tarquini’s Civic, with both men out of the race. Both drivers returned to the pits for repairs, although only Tarquini later ventured out to test his car.

The dramas on lap one allowed Bennani to finish in fifth after emerging on the opening lap relatively unscathed, ahead of Zengő Motorsport’s Norbert Michelisz in sixth, who took the position on the penultimate corner of the final lap after a race-long battle with LADA’s Nicolas Lapierre, who took seventh.

Honda’s Tiago Monteiro took the chequered flag in eighth, having been turned around on the opening lap by the wayward Coronel.

Campos Racing’s Hugo Valente stalled at the start of race one, allowing him to avoid the carnage but dropping him to the rear of the field. The Frenchman fought back in the race, battling with Monteiro, and finished in ninth, ahead of Münnich Motorsport’s Stefano D’Aste in tenth, who was the last finisher in the race.

Local racer Ma Qing Hua suffered a disastrous race on home soil. The Chinese driver stalled from the front row of the grid, which dropped him to tenth by the end of the opening lap. As he then fought back during the race he went wide whilst attempting to pass Michelisz for seventh, immediately slowing with a suspected driveshaft problem on his C-Elysée.

Craft-Bamboo Racing’s Grégoire Demoustier also retired from the race on lap nine, ulling into the pits for work on his car.

Race result

1 37 José María LÓPEZ Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 16 33:21.641 1:52.401 1
2 68 Yvan MULLER Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 16 2.428 1:52.971 5
3 9 Sébastien LOEB Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 16 3.379 1:53.121 4
4 10 Nick CATSBURG LADA Sport Rosneft LADA Vesta WTCC 16 8.905 1:53.194 3
5 25 Y Mehdi BENNANI Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 16 13.912 1:53.326 11
6 5 Y Norbert MICHELISZ Zengő Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 16 16.774 1:53.664 15
7 47 Nicolas LAPIERRE LADA Sport Rosneft LADA Vesta WTCC 16 17.394 1:53.650 12
8 18 Tiago MONTEIRO Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 16 20.662 1:54.370 16
9 7 Y Hugo VALENTE Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 16 22.575 1:53.777 10
10 26 Y Stefano D’ASTE ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 16 26.361 1:54.509 17
11 33 MA Qing Hua Citroën Total WTCC Citroën C-Elysée WTCC 12 4 Lp. 1:53.527 2
R 11 Y Grégoire DEMOUSTIER Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 9 7 Lp. 1:53.882 14
R 2 Gabriele TARQUINI Castrol Honda WTC Team Honda Civic WTCC 5 11 Lp. 1:55.286 8
R 12 Rob HUFF LADA Sport Rosneft LADA Vesta WTCC 4 12 Lp. 1:53.578 6
R 27 Y John FILIPPI Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 3 13 Lp. 1:53.563 7
R 3 Y Tom CHILTON ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 1 15 Lp. 13
R 4 Y Tom CORONEL ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze TC1 0 9

Complete race results

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