López recovery drive secures a 0.283s winning margin
Citroën earns 10 points in WTCC Manufacturers’ championship battle
Honda takes second with LADA third
Citroën took a closely-fought victory in the FIA World Touring Car Championship’s Manufacturers Against the Clock (WTCC MAC3) contest on the high-speed streets of Vila Real in Portugal this afternoon – by less than three tenths of a second.
A less-than-ideal start from José María López left Citroën down on Honda after the first sector of the two-lap team time trial, but the double world champion rallied and caught Yvan Muller and Tom Chilton ahead of him to cut the TAG Heuer timing beam with a time that was 0.283 seconds quicker than Honda had managed.
Home hero Tiago Monteiro had helped Honda to a strong pair of laps in the Tour de France-inspired competition but the Japanese manufacturer had to make do with second place. LADA finished third, eight seconds off the pace after Gabriele Tarquini slid wide in the chicane in the middle of the lap.
Citroën’s narrow winning margin was the third closest in WTCC MAC3 history and earned it 10 points towards the WTCC Manufacturers’ championship, much to Team Principal Yvan Matton’s delight: “For sure after qualifying it was not sure that we would be able to fight for the victory because we were concerned with some problems on Jose’s car,” he said. “But with some new wheels everything was working properly and we are very happy.”