WTCC Monza: Chilton beats Huff to race one victory
|Sunday, April 30th 2017, 10:52 GMT|
Sebastien Loeb Racing's Tom Chilton narrowly defeated fellow Citroen privateer Rob Huff in the opening World Touring Car Championship race at Monza.
Chilton started fourth in the reversed-grid opener but moved up to third after poleman Tom Coronel stalled at the start and Polestar's Nestor Girolami retired with damaged suspension.
Up ahead of Chilton was a thrilling battle for the lead between team-mate Mehdi Bennani and the works Honda of Norbert Michelisz.
Michelisz found the room at Parabolica to dive around the outside of Bennani, but the SLR Citroen driver locked up and the pair speared off track - allowing Chilton into the lead.
Chilton spent the final five laps holding off the Munnich Citroen C-Elysee of Huff to take his first victory since last August's Argentina round.
Tiago Monteiro finished third after a race-long battle with Thed Bjork's Volvo and the Campos Racing-run Chevrolet of Esteban Guerrieri.
Guerrieri was expertly defending the final podium place from the faster Honda and Volvo, with Monteiro the first to pass at the Roggia chicane.
Bjork tried to follow but was repelled, releasing Monterio to a lonely third place finish.
It was initially a hotly contested battle for fourth between Guerrieri and Bjork, but the Polestar driver finally passed him on the approach to the finish line.
But after the race Bjork was hit with a one second penalty for contact during his overtake on Guerrieri, placing him fifith behind the Argentinian.
Yann Ehrlacher was sixth ahead of Tom Coronel who had to recover from the rear of the grid after his previous stall, but was subsequently given a penalty for exceeding track limits and dropped out of the top 10.
This gave sixth back to Coronel, ahead of John Filippi, Nicky Catsburg and Kevin Gleason, with Daniel Nagy taking his first WTCC points finish in 10th.
Two cars failed to take the start of the race; Aurelien Panis had a suspected oil leak moments before the formation lap began and Ryo Michigami was wheeled into the garage with a problem ahead of the race start.
RESULTS - 9 LAPS:
|1||Tom Chilton||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||17m17.330s|
|2||Rob Huff||Munnich Motorsport||Citroen||0.329s|
|3||Tiago Monteiro||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||2.630s|
|4||Esteban Guerrieri||Campos Racing||Chevrolet||6.899s|
|5||Thed Bjork||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||7.793s|
|6||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport||Chevrolet||11.100s|
|7||John Filippi||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||12.928s|
|8||Nicky Catsburg||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||18.067s|
|9||Kevin Gleason||RC Motorsport||Lada||18.449s|
|10||Daniel Nagy||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||19.200s|
|11||Yann Ehrlacher||RC Motorsport||Lada||20.207s|
|-||Norbert Michelisz||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||Retirement|
|-||Mehdi Bennani||Sebastien Loeb Racing||Citroen||Retirement|
|-||Nestor Girolami||Polestar Cyan Racing||Volvo||Retirement|
|-||Ryo Michigami||Honda Racing Team JAS||Honda||Retirement|
|-||Aurelien Panis||Zengo Motorsport||Honda||Retirement|