[YesAuto Auto Race] The Slovak sub-station of the WTCC World Touring Car Championship came to an end last weekend. The Citroen team won the top three of the two rounds and made another victory in this continuous battle, further consolidating its unshakable Dominance.
In the qualifying session last Saturday, the Lada team became a rival to Citroen. Field veteran Hoff led the Lada team to step by step against Citroen in the qualifying. At the beginning, Lopez and Chinese driver Ma Qinghua, who were temporarily the champion of the year, ran the fastest lap of the game, and Hoff and Kesberg of Lada team temporarily ranked third and fourth. Lada's new tank this year has a faster straight line speed compared to last year, and the overall combat effectiveness has also been improved. Finally, in the second part of the qualifying, Citroen began to exert its strength. Its drivers Muller, Lopez and Loeb ranked one, two and three. The Lada team Hoff was only 0.015 seconds behind Loeb and ranked fourth on the grid. Teammates Keithberg ranked fifth, and Chinese driver Ma Qinghua was 1.276 seconds behind pole and ranked seventh on the grid.
In the first round of the race, Muller, who started from pole position, led the two teammates to quickly open the gap with their opponents behind them, and they had a clear advantage when entering the first turn. The second driver of the Lada team, Keithberg, dropped from fifth to eighth on the start. The first driver to retire unfortunately was Demu Steele of the Craft-Bamboo team. His car was affected by a crash during the free practice before. Although it was overhauled overnight, it was lost to an engine failure before the start. Chinese driver Ma Qinghua may be overly nervous and ran away from the starting space before the red light went out, was fined into the station, and fell directly from the fighting camp to the back of the main unit, losing his competitive ability. After Ma Qinghua struggled to catch up to 11th place, unfortunately retired due to a mechanical failure.
At the beginning of the second round, Ma Qinghua, who was ranked fourth on the reverse grid, was in constant tragedy. He stalled at the start and was sentenced to pass through the pit lane again, and unfortunately retired in the end. Ma Qinghua’s accidentally stalled car at the start of the race caused the Lada team’s Kesberg to be implicated and blocked, and Honda’s Girolami once drove into the buffer zone due to an emergency evasion.
Among the competing cars ahead, Honda driver Tarquini, the second on the grid, took the lead to enter Turn 1. Loeb, Lopez, and Muller of the Citroen team started from the eighth, ninth, and tenth places in a short time. Nei surpassed the one-vote competitors including the pole-position Lada and entered the second, third, and fourth positions. Tarquini struggled with three Citroen drivers, but he was overtaken by Loeb on the second lap, and was overtaken by Lopez and Muller in the same position on the third lap.
As a result, there was no suspense on the second round of the podium. The only highlight was the fierce fight between the two Honda drivers, Michelisz and Monteiro, for the 11th place. The two cars even had “physical contact” at one point. After retiring from the position the driver gave up, the two finished eighth and ninth respectively. The Lada team's Hoff and Kesberg retired only about 3 laps before the end of the race. Lagen drove the only remaining Lada car and finally crossed the finish line in sixth place. The famous Chevrolet driver Chilton retired with a puncture at Turn 13 with only one lap left before the end of the race.
So far, the WTCC 2015 season has passed halfway. Citroen has temporarily ranked first in the team championship with an absolute advantage, and Sanming Tiger will also firmly sit in the top three of the drivers' championship. The next station in France will be held on June 26-28. I guess the Citroen at home is likely to continue to dominate the WTCC stage. What do you think?