José Maria López scored a commanding win in the first of the two Russian rounds of the FIA WTCC.
The Argentine came briefly under attack from Gabriele Tarquini at the start of the race, but a misunderstanding between Monteiro and Tarquini that resulted in a slight contact gave him the necessary room to take a defining lead already after just one corner.
Sébastien Loeb finished in third, just 0.2 seconds behind the Honda of Tarquini, while reigning world champion Yvan Muller managed to take fourth place from Tom Chilton on the final lap.
Citroën’s newcomer Ma Qing Hua scored his first WTCC points by finishing in sixth, while Rob Huff claimed a tenth place for LADA.
In the TC2T Franz Engstler scored yet another win ahead of his team mate Pasquale di Sabatino
Start – Tarquini tries to take advantage at the start but gets hit by Monteiro and loses the momentum, giving López a clean escape. Loeb moves up to third.
Lap 1 – Huff passes the Chevrolet cars of Borković and Valente to take 11th place. Muller moves up to fourth.
Lap 2 – Tarquini comes under attack from Loeb for 2nd place. Borković misses his braking point at the end of the long straight and takes off his team mate Valente. Both cars are out of the race.
Lap 3 – Ma passes Michelisz for 7th, while Huff passes Bennani for 10th.
Lap 4 – Monteiro and Muller run wide on the exit of Turn 15, handing 4th place to Chilton. Monteiro drops to 7th behind Muller and Ma.
Lap 5 – A nice fight for 8th place develops between Michelisz, Coronel, Huff and Bennani.
Lap 7 – Nothing changes at the front. López leads by two seconds from Tarquini and Loeb.
Lap 8 – Coronel passes Michelisz for 8th on the start/finish straight. In TC2T the two Engstler BMW cars are in the lead. In turn 15, Misiulia misses his braking point and crashes out from third in the class.
Lap 16 – Muller passes Chilton for 4th in turn 1. López scores his fourth win of the season. (Source: WTCC)