WTCC - Muller and Lopez claim wins in France

Citroën dominated the second round of the 2014 WTCC on its home race at the Circuit Paul Ricard, clinching a double 1-2 win, but the two French races, on a more traditional circuit than Marrakech, were certainly more lively and closely-fought than anticipated, which thrilled the crowd.

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WTCC - Muller and Lopez claim wins in France
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French driver Yvan Muller, Argentine driver Jose Maria Lopez and Portuguese driver Tiago Montero pose on the podium after the 2nd race of the FIA World Touring Car Championship (AFP)

Yvan Muller opened his personal count of wins, by taking Race 1 on wet track, after having inherited pole position following the cancellation of all qualifying times of Sébastien Loeb and José María López because of an anomaly in the fuel cut-off valves. Loeb stormed from the back of the grid to take second.

In Race 2, marked by two safety-car periods, López managed to win, despite starting from last position, after climbing throughout the field, escorted by Yvan Muller, while Loeb could not make better than sixth after hitting the tires at the first chicane.

"We made some changes to the car after the first race, and went for an aggressive set up, because when you start from the back, you know you can take risks. I had nothing to lose really,” said Lopez.

Muller added: "It was a good weekend for me, and it was important for me to recover some points, and this weekend I scored nearly the maximum points, so I am pleased with what we have got."

Muller and López also set the fastest lap in Race 1 and 2 respectively, to be declared Yokohama Performers of the event.

Today’s round saw Honda conquering its first two podium finishes of the season, with Gabriele Tarquini in Race 1 and Tiago Monteiro in Race 2. The Civic cars showed clear progress, as demonstrated also by the other points finishes of the customer cars of Norbert Michelisz and Mehdi Bennani.

Rob Huff put an incredible show in the wet in Race 1 to offer LADA a great fifth place in Race 1. The Chevrolets were a little step behind today, with Valente 6th in Race 1 and Borković 7th in Race 2 as best results.

Franz Engstler continued to reign on the TC2 class, with two new wins, despite being hit by John Filippi in Race 2 when the Frenchman missed a braking.

With today’s results, López retains the lead in the Drivers’ Championship, where he has a 8-points advantage on Loeb and 18 on Muller.

The championship will resume at Budapest’s Hungaroring, on May 4 for rounds 5 and 6.

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