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China: Chilton edges Muller for Shanghai opener

Tom Chilton beats team-mate Yvan Muller to the line to win the opening WTCC race in Shanghai
Tom Chilton took his second victory in the World Touring Car Championship after a late move on team-mate Yvan Muller saw him clinch opening race honours in Shanghai.

The RML man beat Muller to the line by just 0.010secs to take top honours in a race shortened to ten laps because of the conditions.

Heavy rain before the start led to a start behind the Safety Car, although most of the field elected to start on slick tyres.

When the action got underway, Pepe Oriola and Rickard Rydell both made forwards progress having gone for wet rubber, although neither would be able to maintain their position as the circuit dried and the performance of their tyres dropped away.

As Oriola slipped back, Muller moved into the lead of the race ahead of Chilton, with the pair pulling away from the chasing pack behind.

On the final lap, Chilton made his move for the lead through the closing corners and swept by out of the final corner to take victory, with Muller – already confirmed as champion – doing little to try and defend.

Oriola held on to a podium place until late on when he was passed by Bamboo pair James Nash and Alex MacDowall, with Nash edging his team-mate for the final place on the podium and the Independents' class win – allowing him to extend his lead over his fellow Brit in the standings.

Rob Huff took sixth place in his Munnich Motorsport-run SEAT ahead of the Honda of Gabriele Tarquini's Honda and the Lada of James Thompson, with Tom Boardman and Norbert Michelisz rounding out the top ten.

Showing just how heated the battle in the midfield had been, just half a second covered Oriola, Huff, Tarquini, Thompson and Boardman at the finish.

Rydell slipped back to 14th on his wet tyres in what is a one-off outing with NIKA Racing this weekend while the returning Polestar Volvo team suffered disappointment at Thed Bjork was sidelined without completing a lap due to a battery issue.

Yukinori Taniguchi extended his lead in the Eurosport Asia Trophy having been the first driver home in 21st overall.


Tagged as: Chevrolet , Shanghai , RML , Tom Chilton

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