Argentina WTCC: Lopez extends lead with easy home win

Jose Maria Lopez shrugs off the pressure of performing in front of his home crowd as he eases to a lights-to-flag win in Argentina.
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Jose Maria Lopez has extended his lead at the top of the World Touring Car Championship standings after cruising to his sixth win of the season in front of his home crowd at the Termas de Rio Hondo circuit.

An expectation-filled homecoming for the Argentinian, who despite his relative inexperience leads the WTCC standings by a substantial margin over multiple champion Yvan Muller, Lopez showed no signs of pressure as he got a good start from pole position and simply cruised to the chequered flag.

By contrast, a poor start put paid to Muller's challenge from the front row, the Frenchman out-dragged down to the first corner by the sprightly Norbert Michelisz, who proceeded to soak up persistent, if not overwhelming, pressure from the Citroen behind.

With Muller forced to settle for third place, Lopez's win sees him extend his lead to 50 points over his Citroen team-mate in the overall standings with one race in Argentina to go.

A boisterous first lap aside, it was a fairly uneventful race from start-to-finish in the end, Sebastien Loeb resisting the attentions of Tiago Monteiro and Tom Chilton to finish fourth, fifth and sixth respectively, while Rob Huff turned in LADA's most competitive race of the season in seventh place, comfortably holding off Gabriele Tarquini and Mehdi Bennani in the process.

Indeed, with James Thompson scoring a point for tenth place after capitalising on Tom Coronel out-braking himself on the penultimate corner, LADA stands to go even better in race two as Huff will get away from a reverse grid pole position.

Tagged as: Citro├źn , Lopez

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Alain Menu
Michel Vaillant - Alain Menu
John Filippi - Sebastien Loeb Racing
Ryo Michigami, Honda Racing Team JAS [Credit: WTCC]
Rob Huff - Munnich Motorsport Citroen C-Elysee
Medhi Bennani, Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Nestor Girolami, Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo, WTCC [Credit: WTCC]
Tom Chilton, Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen [Credit: XPB]
Tom Coronel, Roal Chevrolet [Credit: WTCC media]
Gabriele Tarquini, Lada, Moscow [Credit: WTCC media]
Nicky Catsburg, Lada, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Nicky Catsburg, Lada, WTCC [Credit: WTCC media]
Jose Maria Lopez, Citroen, [Credit: WTCC media]
Jose Maria Lopez - Citroen Racing [credit: Florent Gooden / DPP]

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