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WTCC Monza: Chilton beats Huff to race one victory

Tom Chilton wins Monza WTCC 2017

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.

Norbert Michelisz and Mehdi Bennani collide, Monza WTCC 2017

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:

PosDriverTeamCarGap
1Tom ChiltonSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen17m17.330s
2Rob HuffMunnich MotorsportCitroen0.329s
3Tiago MonteiroHonda Racing Team JASHonda2.630s
4Esteban GuerrieriCampos RacingChevrolet6.899s
5Thed BjorkPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo7.793s
6Tom CoronelROAL MotorsportChevrolet11.100s
7John FilippiSebastien Loeb RacingCitroen12.928s
8Nicky CatsburgPolestar Cyan RacingVolvo18.067s
9Kevin GleasonRC MotorsportLada18.449s
10Daniel NagyZengo MotorsportHonda19.200s
11Yann EhrlacherRC MotorsportLada20.207s
-Norbert MicheliszHonda Racing Team JASHondaRetirement
-Mehdi BennaniSebastien Loeb RacingCitroenRetirement
-Nestor GirolamiPolestar Cyan RacingVolvoRetirement
-Ryo MichigamiHonda Racing Team JASHondaRetirement
-Aurelien PanisZengo MotorsportHondaRetirement


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