Jose Maria Lopez will take a 39 point lead at the head of the World Touring Car Championship standings into the summer break as the Argentine rounded off his European stint at Spa-Francorchamps with a fifth win of the season.
With Citroen once again proving the class of the WTCC field in Belgium, Lopez played his part in a dominant 1-2-3 for the French manufacturer, getting the better of team-mate Sebastien Loeb on the final lap to finish second behind Yvan Muller.
Despite losing some points to his main title rival, Lopez struck back in race by rising from eighth on the reverse grid to first place for his fifth win of the season.
Though Muller's second place and pole position – which earned him an extra two points – means Lopez comes away from Belgium having seen his overall lead slightly reduced, he is happy to still have a healthy margin over his competitors.
“I couldn't relax for a second in the first race! Sébastien was really quick in the second and third sectors and my tyres were wearing fast. I put everything into the last lap, and fortunately it worked.
“That second place was important for me, but the most memorable part was the 1-2-3 for the team! In race 2, I was involved in a real scrap with Valente over the first few corners. We touched, but the car was OK, and I realised I was quicker than the others. I did a lot of overtaking at the Bus Stop, and I must say that all my competitors were very sporting. It's an incredible win for me!
“Even though Yvan has closed the gap by two points, it's still been a good weekend for me as far as the overall standings are concerned. But I've said it before and I'll say it again: despite the gap, I'm definitely not home and dry yet.”
Following seven rounds in Africa and Europe, WTCC resumes in August with the first of the overseas events that will round off the 2014 season, beginning with Lopez's home round in Argentina.