Lopez Goes from Back to Front to Win Race 2 at Paul Ricard

by Peter Allen
Jose Maria Lopez - Photo Credit: Citroen Racing

Jose Maria Lopez charged from last on the grid to win race two of the World Touring Car Championship round at Paul Ricard, reclaiming the championship lead in the process.

The Argentine – starting 18th after failing post-qualifying scrutineering – charged to seventh on lap one, passing Citroen team-mate and race one winner Yvan Muller, who started tenth.

The Citroen pair continued to work their way up the order, passing leader Tiago Monteiro‘s Honda after two back-to-back safety car periods, with Lopez managing to then pull out a 1.8 second lead over Muller before the chequered flag. The Argentine has now won a race on all three of his weekends in the WTCC.

Monteiro finished third ahead of factory Honda team-mate Gabriele Tarquini, who ran second to Monteiro until an error at the chicane allowed the two Citroens to pass either side of him on the exit.

Mehdi Bennani took fifth ahead of the third Citroen of Sebastien Loeb, who got involved in a number of scrapes during the race including tapping Muller and taking out a tyre stack on the inside of turn two, prompting the first of the safety cars.

Dusan Borkovic was seventh ahead of Norbert Michelisz, Gianni Morbidelli (who was spun by the similar Chevrolet of Tom Chilton on lap one, earning the Reigate racer a drive-through penalty) and Hugo Valente.

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