The 13th and 14th round of the WTCC season this year went down at the Spa in Belgium this past weekend. Citroen dominated the race right from qualifying before locking the three podium finishes to themselves in the first race. In the end, WTCC points leader José María López finished the race first ahead of teammate and race one winner Yvan Muller. Sebastian Loeb finished the race in fifth.
Qualifying was a smooth session for the three Citroen drivers Lopez, Muller and Loeb. Muller had qualified first ahead of Loeb with Lopez taking third. Valente took fourth while Tarquini qualified fifth. When Race 1 started, Muller who had won his third pole position of the season stormed away from the pack. After the La Source hairpin he never lost the lead. Lopez managed to shoot past Loeb at the end of the straight on the final lap to finish in second.
Race 2 saw a change of leadership, Chevrolet driver Tom Coronel had led for most of the race and prevented the Citroen’s from clinching the lead. However, the resilient Lopez did not give up on his strategies as he went ahead to snatch the lead from Coronel at the Raidillon. Coronel had to settle for third breaking the Citroen winning chain. Muller finished in second making it another double podium finish for Citroen.
The drivers’ standings are led by the three Citroen drivers. Lopez has the highest number of points at 255, Muller is second with 216 while Loeb is third with 190. This makes Citroen the leader in the constructor’s points with 597, Honda is second with 392 points while Lada is third with 202 points. Rounds 15 and 16 of the 2014 FIA World Touring Car Championship will take place at Termas de Río Hondo, Argentina, 2 and 3 August.
Yvan Muller, 1st in Race 1 / 2nd in Race 2:
The key to the win in the first race was to have a good start, which I managed. On the first lap I had to be careful a bit to make sure my tyres came up to temperature correctly, but from the second lap onwards I could push in order to create a gap as big as possible. I didn’t want any of the others to be able to catch my slipstream and the fight between Sébastien and José María allowed me to get away. In the second race I just took things step by step. Our car was the fastest out there down the straight and through the Blanchimont corners, which is where we knew we could pass.
José María López, 1st in Race 2 / 2nd in Race 1:
In the first race I had a nice battle with Sébastien for almost the whole race. I knew he had an issue with the power steering going up the Raidillon, so I tried to take advantage of that. On the last lap I took some risks to get up Raidillon as fast as I could and I managed to pass him at the end of the Combes straight. The start of the second race was a bit tricky with me and Valente swiping each other at the end of the straight, but fortunately my car was okay so after that I could start catching the others. As Yvan said, we knew the two spots where we could overtake best, and for me it worked out especially under braking for the chicane.
Sébastien Loeb, 3rd in Race 1:
I quite liked the fight for second position I had with José María in the first race, but only until the last lap when he passed me. I closed the door, but he was so fast he could just go around the outside. In the second race I got stuck behind Valente a bit too long and by the time I had passed him the gap to the front had just grown too big so I settled for fifth.