Text: Anton Andres / Photos: WTCC | posted April 27, 2015 10:13
Lopez extends his championship lead over Loeb
Jose Maria Lopez and Yvan Muller take the top step on the podium for the second round of WTCC 2015 in the Circuit Moulay El Hassan street course in Marrakech, Morocco.
Jose Maria Lopez started from pole with Moroccan local Mehdi Bennani in tow and Citroen team mate Ma Quing Ha. Bennani lost second to Ma and was quickly caught by Sebastian Loeb. An incident occurred on the first lap between ROAL Motorsport team mates Tom Chilton and Tom Coronel. Chilton admitted fault for the first lap scuffle and has handed a 10 second penalty after the race. Despite his best efforts, Bennani was unable to catch up to the train of Citroens in front of him and finished fourth.
Although he didn't win his home race, Mehdi Bennani won the Yokohama Trophy for independent drivers. For the constructors cup, the trio of Citroens led the way with Jose Maria Lopez in first, Ma Quing Hua in second and Sebastian Loeb in third.
Yvan Muller fought a hard first race starting from tenth and eventually finished fifth. Honda drivers Tiago Montiero and Gabriele Tarquini finished sixth and seventh respectively with Norbert Michelisz in eighth. Stefano D'Aste and Tom Chilton round up the top ten but due to the incident with his team mate on lap one, the penalty drops him out of the points and promoted Lada's Rob Huff to tenth. ROAL Motorsport driver Tom Coronel was unable to finish the race while Hugo Valente failed to start on the grid. Valente would later rejoin the race and finish fifteenth. Proteam's Dusan Borkovic withdrew just before the start, citing personal reasons.
Race 2 was a cat and mouse chase between Yvan Muller and Sebastian Loeb. The two would would be inseparable for the next 14 laps. Like the first race, another first lap incident happened between team mates, this time with Lada drivers Rob Huff and Mikhail Kozlovskiy which led to the elimination of both drivers. The ROAL Motorsport team got Tom Coronel back in action but crashed out again while jockeying for position with Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Micheliz.
The 14 lap chase between Muller and Loeb finished with Muller winning and Loeb in second. Race 1 winner Jose Maria Lopez came in thrid and broke his lap record despite starting from tenth. Tom Chilton took fourth and won the Yokohama Trophy for independents. Gabriele Tarquini finished in fifth while Stefano D'Aste crossed the line in sixth. The surviving Lada of James Thompson finished seventh with John Filippi in eighth. Hugo Valente crossed the line fifth but his clash with Mehdi Bennani drops him down to ninth and rounding up the top 10 is Ma Qing Hua who suffered from brake troubles throughout the race.
The next race will be on May 1-3 in the WTCC Race of Hungary.