Photo: Citroën Racing

Sébastien Loeb wins rain aborted race in Slovakia

Citroën’s Sébastien Loeb won his second career race in the FIA World Touring Car Championship in a race which lasted just six laps before the safety car was called, when heavy rain descended upon the circuit.

The rain had started falling heavily an hour before the race but had begun to lighten leaving a wet track as the cars went out to format, before hitting the circuit again hard just as the race was about to start.

The standing start took place as normal, with Sébastien Loeb launching off the line and into the lead from second on the grid ahead of José María López, with Norbert Michelisz moving up to third in the Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic.

Yvan Muller had dropped to fourth after what turned out to be a jump start, and the Frenchman served a drive through penalty on lap three as a result which dropped him to 14th position.

Rob Huff had moved up to eighth at the start in his Lada, but fell back behind the two factory Hondas, but we promoted to ninth following Yvan Muller’s penalty.

The rain continued to fall with the cars starting to clearly aquaplane on the circuit, with Dusan Borkovic, John Filippi and Mehdi Bennani three of several drivers to visit the circuit’s gravel traps.

The safety car was called on lap six with many drivers requesting that the race be stopped.

After three laps behind the safety car, the race was called at the end of lap nine, with Sébastien Loeb the winner ahead of José María López and Norbert Michelisz.

Yvan Muller had managed to recover to tenth to score a single point, while Petr Fulín was able to win on effectively his WTCC debut in the TC2T class in his Campos Racing SEAT León WTCC.

The second race gets underway at 17:45 CET, with Tiago Monteiro starting on pole for Honda ahead of Campos’s Hugo Valente.