Jose Maria Lopez Takes Victory in First Nurburgring Nordschleife WTCC Race

Jose Maria Lopez

Jose Maria Lopez claimed a five-second victory in the three-lap first ever World Touring Car Championship race on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

The defending champion successfully converted his pole position, with Citroen team-mates Sebastien Loeb and Yvan Muller completing the podium.

Loeb and Muller moved up at the start when front-row starter Hugo Valente got a poor launch in his Campos Chevrolet and then made contact has he tried to block the fast-starting Zengo Honda of Norbert Michelisz.

Michelisz would finish just a second behind Muller in fourth, while Ma Qing Hua took fifth away from Gabriele Tarquini late on.

Mehdi Bennani was seventh ahead of Stefano D’Aste and Tom Chilton, while local expert Sabine Schmitz took tenth on her WTCC debut after holding off Jaap van Lagen.

Valente spun into the barriers and out of the race on the Grand Prix loop on lap two, Tiago Monteiro pitted with a puncture later on, while Tom Coronel and Rob Huff were first-lap retirements.