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Yvan Muller has clawed back more ground in the World Touring Car Championship standings after completing a dominant lights-to-flag victory in race one at Spa-Francorchamps, though Jose Maria Lopez limited the damage with a fighting run to second.
Having qualified on pole position, a good start was all Muller needed to assure himself of victory, the tussle between team-mates Sebastien Loeb and Lopez giving him the breathing room he needed to control the pace out front.
Indeed, with Muller destined for victory, the attention was mostly focused on whether Lopez could get the better of Loeb, the pair showcasing some close, but clean racing in their C-Elysees.
In the end, Lopez would leave it until the final lap to make his charge, nudging through at Les Combes on his team-mate to lessen Muller's impact further up the road.
Behind them, Gianni Morbidelli was an impressive fourth having started in ninth place, the Italian emerging as the big beneficiary from a chaotic opening lap that saw Gabriele Tarquini lose speed through Eau Rouge after contact with Hugo Valente, bunching the pack down the Kemmel Straight.
Finding a line on the outside, Morbidelli would power ahead into fifth place before rising to fourth when Valente ahead was handed a drive-thru penalty for exceeding track limits.
Tom Coronel completed the top five after passing Tiago Monteiro late on, ahead of Norbert Michelisz and Tarquini, the Italian never recovering from his lap one problem.
Despite starting last after leaking fuel on his way to the grid – thus forcing organisers to coat many of the corners in dust -, Dusan Borkovic put in an impressive charge up to ninth, while Tom Chilton also fought back into contention after stalling on the grid.