Norbert Michelisz came out on a top after a blockbuster battle for the title was curtailed by engine problems for Esteban Guerrieri.
Johan Kristoffersson’s victory elevates him into the top ten in the WTCR championship standings.
The WTCR title race has swung back in favour of Michelisz after victory in race two at Suzuka.
Despite Ma Qing Hua’s best efforts, Yvan Muller took victory in the opening WTCR race at Ningbo.
Attila Tassi scored a breakthrough pole position, while Tiago Monteiro found a resurgence in form in qualifying at Vila Real.
Thed Bjork finished in 2nd place, sandwiched in-between the Argentine Munnich Motorsport team-mates, Esteban Guerrieri and Nestor Girolami.
Esteban Guerrieri took pole position for the first race of the 2019 WTCR season, with the top 20 cars being separated by less than a second.
2018 Boutsen-Ginion Honda WTCR driver Ma Qing Hua has secured a full-time drive with Team Mulsanne for the 2019 FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR)
After impressing as a stand-in for Gianni Morbidelli last year, Kevin Ceccon has been rewarded with a full-season drive in the WTCR with Team Mulsanne
Frederic Vervisch took his, and Comtoyou Racing’s, first race victory in the World Touring Car Cup after defeating pole-sitter, Timo Scheider.
Kevin Ceccon’s superb victory in the opening race at Suzuka provided Team Mulsanne with a much-needed boost, particularly following the recent departure of Fabrizio Giovanardi due to doubts about the car’s performance.