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Lopez moves clear with Austria victory

25 May 2014

CLICK HERE to view full WTCC Race 2 results

Jose Maria Lopez has taken a formidable lead in the World Touring Car Championship standings after claiming his third World Touring Car Championship win of the season, while closest rival Yvan Muller failed to finish.

Having finished third in race one, the Argentinian driver started in seventh place for the second race and played a part of the start-line incident that would eliminate Muller from the reckoning after the Frenchman got alongside on the run to the first corner and was squeezed onto the grass.

When Muller returned to the tarmac, James Thompson jinked to avoid the closing Citroen, only to make contact with LADA team-mate Rob Huff and back into Muller. The trio would thus collect the barriers, eliminating all three from the race and necessitating a red flag. With Dusan Borkovic and Tom Chilton also coming together, the restart occurred minus five cars.

Once underway again, Lopez quickly made progress as the Citroen's superior straight-line speed easily dispatched the Hondas ahead of him, not least when a late safety car period allowed Lopez to get up on the back of long-time leader Gabriele Tarquini on the restart.

A third win of the season, Lopez's lead has now grown to 41 points over Muller still, the WTCC rookie stamping his mark on the series in his maiden season.

Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro completed the podium for the Honda Racing duo, ahead of Norbert Michelisz, while Tom Coronel completed a strong day in fifth place having scored a podium in race one.

Gianni Morbidelli rounded out the top six, ahead of Sebastien Loeb, Mehdi Bennani and Rene Munnich, with Mikhail Kozlovskiy completing the points' in the top ten.


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