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WTCC Shanghai: Dominant eighth win of 2016 for Jose Maria Lopez

Jose Maria Lopez WTCC China

Jose Maria Lopez claimed his eighth World Touring Car Championship win of the season in the second race at Shanghai.

The world champion was never headed in a tame second affair on the modified Formula 1 grand prix circuit, and eased clear of Citroen team-mate Yvan Muller to win by 11.037 seconds.

Starting from pole, Lopez's task was made easier by Lada's Nicky Catsburg bogging down and dropping to fourth off the line, handing Lopez a clear run into the first corner.

Having slotted into second, Muller did his best in the opening laps to stay with Lopez but soon dropped back and consolidated his position ahead of Bennani, who had also jumped Catsburg at the start.

Lopez forfeited a potential win in Japan to allow Muller through three weeks earlier, but there was no repeat in China as the Argentinian streaked clear to his most convincing win of 2016.

Muller had a comfortable enough margin over third-place finisher Bennani, who completed a Citroen 1-2-3 in his satellite Sebastien Loeb Racing C-Elysee and in so doing wrapped up the Independents' title with a round to spare.

Catsburg stayed with the podium finishers after a wobbly opening couple of laps but was never able to challenge Bennani and settled for fourth.

He headed team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, who made up somewhat for his premature exit from the opening race after a collision with Tom Chilton with fifth.

Race one winner Thed Bjork pressed Tarquini for the position, but handed his sixth back to Volvo Polestar team-mate Fredrik Ekblom on the final lap having been unable to find a way past the Lada.

Tiago Monteiro finished a lonely eighth in the lead Honda Civic, advancing from 13th on the grid, while Chilton headed Tom Coronel for the final points positions.

MAIN RACE RESULT

PosDriverTeamCarLapsGap
1Jose Maria LopezCitroen RacingCitroen1528m18.258s
2Yvan MullerCitroen RacingCitroen1511.037s
3Mehdi BennaniSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen1512.742s
4Nicky CatsburgLADA SportLada1513.205s
5Gabriele TarquiniLADA SportLada1515.715s
6Fredrik EkblomPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo1518.176s
7Thed BjorkPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo1518.516s
8Tiago MonteiroHonda Racing Team JASHonda1523.878s
9Tom ChiltonSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen1524.700s
10Tom CoronelROAL MotorsportChevrolet1526.509s
11Norbert MicheliszHonda Racing Team JASHonda1530.202s
12Hugo ValenteLADA SportLada1534.387s
13Rob HuffHonda Racing Team JASHonda1536.452s
14James ThompsonMunnich MotorsportChevrolet1542.431s
15John FilippiCampos RacingChevrolet1551.238s
16Ferenc FiczaZengo MotorsportHonda1557.430s
17Gregoire DemoustierSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen1558.850s
18Daniel NagyZengo MotorsportHonda1558.880s


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