Yvan Muller wins as José María López snatches dramatic second
Yvan Muller won the second race at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, finishing just over a tenth of a second ahead of Citroën team-mate José María López, with the top four covered by a second in a dramatic last few corners battle.
Muller made a strong start from fifth on the grid in his Citroën C-Elysée and was up to third at the first corner, soon passing Gabriele Tarquini’s Honda through Turn 3 and was then up to second position behind the other Honda of Tiago Monteiro.
The Portuguese driver was unable to defend against Muller on the straight at the end of the first lap however, with the Frenchman taking the lead passing the Honda with relative ease with a notable different in straight-line performance.
López was making his charge from tenth on the grid, and was up to sixth by the end of the first lap.
The main straight proved to be where the main moves bythe Citroëns were in the second race, with Ma Qing Hua passing Mehdi Benanni’s privateer C-Elysée there on lap two, grabbing fourth position, with López getting ahead of Bennani on the Grand Prix loop.
This set things up for a dramatic final lap, as Ma then spun his C-Elysée out of fourth at Turn 24 and into retirement as he slammed the barriers, with López now promoted to fourth. The reigning champion then closed down the top trio, with Muller still only just ahead of the Castrol Honda pairing of Tiago Monteiro and Gabriele Tarquini.
López tailed Tarquini through the last part of the Norsdschleife, making his move on the straight, diving past first Tarquini and then Monteiro to take second place, crossing the line 0.173 behind his team-mate.
Behind the Hondas, Sébastien Loeb finished fifth with Mehdi Bennani demoted to sixth on the last lap, with Rob Huff securing seventh for Lada from 13th on the grid, with Tom Coronel eighth in the ROAL Chevrolet, Jaap van Lagen picking up points on his WTCC return with ninth in the second Lada Vesta, and John Filippi completing the top ten for Campos Racing.
Sabine Schmitz followed up her race one points finish with 11th in race two, with Grégoire Demoustier the only other classified finished in 12th.
López’s second place sees the Argentinian extend his points lead to 50 over Sébastien Loeb, while Muller’s win means he’s now just one point behind Loeb in third, heading to the next round of the WTCC in three weeks’ time at Moscow Raceway.