Sebastien Loeb Fights Through to Win Race 2 in Argentina


Sebastien Loeb

Sebastien Loeb scored his third World Touring Car Championship victory as he seared through from eighth to first within two laps of the second race at Termas de Rio Hondo.

The Frenchman benefited from a chaotic beginning to the race, in which the pole-sitting Lada of James Thompson was swamped at the start.

Tom Coronel took the lead, with Gabriele Tarquini slotting into second despite a trip onto the grass as he looked for a way past the Dutch driver on the way down to turn one. Stefano D’Aste made contact with Thompson on the outside of the corner before ending up on the grass.

Ma Qing Hua and Loeb moved their way to the front, passing Coronel for first and second. Coronel went off in his own error, something that was then repeated by Ma, allowing Loeb to take the lead as the safety car came out to deal with the D’Aste incident and reported oil on track.

With Ma forced to pit to clear grass out of his radiator, race one winner Jose Maria Lopez took second at the restart from Tarquini. The Argentinian appeared to settle for P2 however, allowing his team-mate Loeb to get away and win by nearly five seconds.

Added to his victories in rallying, the result was Loeb’s ninth world championship career win in Argentina.

Mehdi Bennani got up to fourth in his Citroen entered by Loeb’s team, but as in race one he was involved in contact, this time with Muller as the Frenchman attempted to make a pass. The Moroccan was turned around the front of Muller’s car, but the two Citroens appeared to be able to continue unscathed.

Muller then went off track however, dropping behind Tiago Monteiro and then having to make his own trip to the pits.

Monteiro passed his Honda team-mate Tarquini for third before the end. Bennani made it to the finish in fifth ahead of Norbert Michelisz, who had another strong drive from the back of the grid and kept a recovering Ma at bay.

The top ten was completed by Tom Chilton, Rickard Rydell and series debutant Gregoire Demoustier.