Jose Maria Lopez dominates, Citroen secures title
By taking pole position and winning both races at the Shanghai circuit, Citroën has retained its FIA WTCC title.
With a 1-2-3 finish for López, Muller and Loeb, Citroën scored enough points to secure the WTCC title with five races to spare.
In Race 1, the Citroën Total team took all three podium places, thanks to José María López, Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb. Yvan Muller produced a magnificent comeback to emerge victorious in Race 2, with Pechito López joining him on the podium. José María López, who scored more points than anyone else this weekend, is now one step closer to the Drivers’ title.
The day began with qualifying, postponed from Saturday. The four official Citroën C-Elysée WTCCs all made it through to Q3 to battle it out for pole position. Yvan Muller was the first to go. He made a little mistake in the last sector and it was no surprise when his time was beaten by Nick Catsburg. Sébastien Loeb couldn’t outdo the Dutchman, but Ma Qing Hua managed it two minutes later. José María López then rounded off the session in style by picking up his fifth pole position of the season!
After the podium ceremony, the cars returned to the overheated asphalt for the second race of the day. It was Tarquini who took control at the start, with Yvan Muller and Sébastien Loeb going at it door-to-door behind him. The four-time WTCC World Champion finally got the better of the nine-time World Rally Champion. Lying in wait behind his teammates, José María López took advantage to slip in between them!
Muller never let Tarquini get away, and made his move just after the halfway mark, sneaking past his rival at his first attempt at the end of the long straight.
Sébastien Loeb, who was struggling with a tyre that was in danger of going flat, played it safe and settled for fourth. Ma Qing Hua ended up eighth, just behind Mehdi Bennani.