Text: Martin Aguilar / Photos: FIA WTCC | posted September 28, 2015 15:49
Citroen sweeps race one with 1-2-3 finish
Citroen has dominated the 19th and 20th rounds of the 2015 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) as José María López and Yvan Muller enabled Citroën to clinch its second manufacturers' championship at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.
In race one, López had a good start and led throughout, allowing him to register his eighth win for the season. As López led the pack, fellow Citroen drivers Muller and Sebastien Loeb were battling for second. In the end, Muller prevailed and Loeb completed Citroen's 1-2-3 finish.
Nicky Catsburg finished fourth for LADA Sport Rosneft team while Mehdi Bennani ended the race in fifth. Norbert Michelisz, who started P15 on the grid in his Honda, was able to finish the race in sixth place. Michelisz was able to overtake Nicolas Lapierre on the final lap.
On the other hand, local hero Ma Quing Hua had a sluggish start which dropped him out of contention. Moreover, Ma's attempt to pass Michelisz ended with an off-track moment as a faltering driveshaft took hold, forcing him out.
Hugo Valente managed to overtake Tiago Monteiro and Grégoire Demoustier for the eight spot. However, Monteiro fought back to snatch the place with three laps remaining. Completing the top ten was Stefano D'Aste.
Rob Huff was eliminated in an opening-lap collision with Gabriele Tarquini. In addition, Tom Chilton also retired after making contact with Monteiro while John Filippi’s career-best seventh on the grid ended in disappointment.
Citroen's Muller won the second race as he was able to pass Honda's Tarquini who had led for eight laps. On the other hand, Tarquini was able to block López's assault to steal the second spot and finished 0.025seconds ahead of the Citroen driver.
Loeb finished in fourth while Huff claimed the fifth spot. Monteiro ended the race in sixth ahead of Mehdi Bennani. Citroen's Ma finished in eight while Lapierre and Filippi completed the top ten.
Pole-sitter Hugo Valente lost the lead at the start as he went slightly wide at the first turn. Catsburg was also not classified while Chilton and Tom Coronel were unable to start due to the damage picked up on race one.