Citroen Racing’s Jose Maria Lopez made it two wins in a row in the World Touring Car Championship races at the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. Honda’s Norbert Michelisz drove well to bring it home in second.
Lopez had to come back fighting after he gave his lead away but he was always looking comfortable as he ensured he took the maximum amount of points he could from the meeting in Germany.
After their shunts in race one Yvan Muller and Tiago Monteiro did not start the race due to the amount of damage sustained. Tom Coronel was also missing from the race two grid, this promoted Norbert Michelisz to second alongside Citroen’s Lopez on the front row. The Hungarian driver made the most of the chance to gain a win when he out-dragged the Citroen on the run into the first turn and also managed to block off the Argentinian’s line through the exit of turn one.
The Hungarian’s lead wasn’t going to last long as Lopez managed to sweep back ahead as they headed onto the Grand Prix Circuit Loop with a fantastic move around the outside of the Honda at the Schumacher Esses.
Lopez managed to stretch his lead to three seconds clear as they crossed the line at the end of lap one. He soon began to lose time in the final sector of the lap. This allowed Michelisz, Tom Chilton and Rob Huff to close in on him behind. The Citroen of Lopez held on firmly to ensure he had enough advantage into the final sector to hang onto his lead as he crossed the line this time just 0.435 seconds clear of the following cars.
Norbert Michelisz managed to come home in a similar margin ahead of Sebastien Loeb Racing’s Tom Chilton. Chilton went on to claim his second podium of the weekend. Huff managed to take his second fourth place finish of the weekend despite attempting to pass Chilton multiple times on the final lap of the race.
Mehdi Bennani followed Nicky Catsburg on the opening lap of the race but managed to repass the Lada to clinch a fifth place finish, just half a second behind Huff. Catsburg was the highest finisher of the LADA Sport drivers taking sixth place. Polestar Cyan Racing duo Fredrik Ekblom and Thed Bjork enjoyed some very eventful races on their way to finishing seventh and eighth. Bjork had been having a good battle and managed to pass Gabrielle Tarquini at Dottinger Hohe on the final lap of the race. Tarquini spoke ahead of the race telling everyone he was taking a more cautious approach to the race, he beat Lada teammate Hugo Valente for the final points position.
The race results are as follows:
- Jose Maria Lopez ~ Citroen Racing
- Norbert Michelisz ~ Honda Racing Team JAS
- Tom Chilton ~ Sebastien Loeb Racing
- Rob Huff ~ Honda Racing
- Mehdi Bennani ~ Sebastien Loeb Racing
- Nicky Catsburg ~ LADA Sport
- Fredrik Ekblom ~ Polestar Cyan Racing
- Thed Bjork ~ Polestar Cyan Racing
- Gabriele Tarquini ~ LADA Sport
- Hugo Valente ~ LADA Sport
- Sabine Shmitz ~ Munnich Motorsport
- John Filippi ~ Campos Racing
- Ferenc Ficza ~ Zengo Motorsport
- Gregoire Demoustier ~ Sebastien Loeb Racing
- Yvan Muller ~ Citroen Racing ~ Did Not Start
- Tom Coronel ~ ROAL Motorsport ~ Did Not Start
- Tiago Monteiro ~ Honda Racing Team JAS ~ Did Not Start
- Jose Maria Lopez ~ 193
- Tiago Monteiro ~ 124
- Rob Huff ~ 122
- Norbert Michelisz ~ 120
- Mehdi Bennani ~ 103
- Yvan Muller ~ 83
- Tom Chilton ~ 78
- Nicky Catsburg ~ 62
- Tom Coronel ~ 44
- Gabriele Tarquini ~ 44
- Hugo Valente ~ 41
- Fredrik Ekblom ~ 30
- Thed Bjork ~ 23
- Gregoire Demoustier ~ 7
- John Filippi ~ 5
- Ferenc Ficza ~ 2
- James Thompson ~ 2
- Rene Munnich ~1
- Sabine Schmitz ~ 1
©Fay Tilley 30th May 2016.