Photo: Citroën Racing

Yvan Muller takes comfortable race one win ahead of Coronel

Citroën’s Yvan Muller won the first race of the day at the Salzburgring from pole position ahead of the ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet Cruze of Tom Coronel, who fought most of the race to hold off championship leader José María López.

All 19 cars started the race after Campos Racing had completed overnight repairs on Hugo Valente’s Chevrolet Cruze.

At the start, Tom Coronel barged past Sébastien Loeb’s Citroën C-Elysée at the first chicane, while Muller held on to his lead, but Coronel’s second position didn’t last long, as he was caught and passed by José María López’s Citroën on the back straight.

Initial pole-sitter Gianni Morbidelli had a bad start, and fell from sixth to tenth, where he would go on to finish.

The circuit offered very few opportunities to pass, with just some out of place cars at the back able to move forward, such as Valente’s Chevrolet in the first two laps, before he was forced to pit with a mechanical issue, along with team-mate Dusan Borkovic.

Gabriele Tarquini was able to get ahead of the rival Honda of Norbert Michelisz for eighth on lap five, but the most significant moment of the race occurred on lap eight, with López locked up at Turn 1 and was forced down the escape road.

He rejoined in third behind Coronel, and unlike earlier, was now unable to get ahead of the Dutchman, who held on to take second, his best finish of the year, while López crossed the line third with Sébastien Loeb fourth.

In the TC2T class, Franz Engstler took another victory and was the only one of the three older specification cars not to be lapped at the 4.2km circuit.

The second race takes place at 13:45 CET, where Honda’s Gabriele Tarquini starts from pole position.