WTCC Shanghai: Dominant eighth win of 2016 for Jose Maria Lopez
|By Jack Cozens||Sunday, September 25th 2016, 09:00 GMT|
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
|1||Jose Maria Lopez||Citroen Racing||Citroen||15||28m18.258s|
|2||Yvan Muller||Citroen Racing||Citroen||15||11.037s|
|3||Mehdi Bennani||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||15||12.742s|
|4||Nicky Catsburg||LADA Sport||Lada||15||13.205s|
|5||Gabriele Tarquini||LADA Sport||Lada||15||15.715s|
|6||Fredrik Ekblom||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||15||18.176s|
|7||Thed Bjork||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||15||18.516s|
|8||Tiago Monteiro||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||15||23.878s|
|9||Tom Chilton||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||15||24.700s|
|10||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet||15||26.509s|
|11||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||15||30.202s|
|12||Hugo Valente||LADA Sport||Lada||15||34.387s|
|13||Rob Huff||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||15||36.452s|
|14||James Thompson||Munnich Motorsport||Chevrolet||15||42.431s|
|15||John Filippi||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||15||51.238s|
|16||Ferenc Ficza||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||15||57.430s|
|17||Gregoire Demoustier||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||15||58.850s|
|18||Daniel Nagy||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||15||58.880s|