WTCC Slovakia : A win for loeb despite the downpour
With rain falling throughout the day at the Slovakia Ring, the 7th and 8th races of the FIA WTCC were disrupted by the weather. The first race was stopped before the finish due to adverse track conditions. Sébastien Loeb, who had got the better of José-María López at the start, notched up his second race win of the season. As the showers intensified in the late afternoon, the second race was cancelled.As more than 75% of the full distance had been completed, full points were awarded. After a brief period of respite, the showers returned with a vengeance in the late afternoon. Race 2, scheduled for 5.45 p.m., was cancelled just a few minutes before the start.
Unlike qualifying, which took place in blazing sunshine, the races at the Slovakia Ring always looked like being a particularly wet affair. Heavy showers soaked the track from mid-morning onwards. The Citroën Total mechanics adapted the setup of the C-Elysée WTCCs accordingly, in time for the first race at 1.15 p.m.
Starting from pole position, José-María López fluffed his start, whereas Sébastien Loeb got off to a flyer and was leading by the first corner. López was just about hanging on to second position, ahead of Norbert Michelisz. Yvan Muller also found himself in trouble when the red lights went out, dropping down to fourth. He then picked up a drive-through penalty for moving before the start.
With better visibility than his rivals, Sébastien Loeb was able to open up a lead over José-María López. After serving his penalty, Yvan Muller rejoined the race in 14th position. He provided some entertainment in the chasing pack by overtaking first Borkovic, then Bennani, Munnich and Valente.
This brilliant recovery was cut short, however, when the safety car was brought out. There was simply too much water on the track, and the officials decided to bring the race to a halt by raising the red flag after 9 of the planned 11 laps.
As more than 75% of the full distance had been completed, full points were awarded. After a brief period of respite, the showers returned with a vengeance in the late afternoon. Race 2, scheduled for 5.45 p.m., was cancelled just a few minutes before the start.
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: DRIVER STANDINGS
1. José-María López: 138 points
2. Sébastien Loeb: 113 pts
3. Yvan Muller: 109 pts
4. Tiago Monteiro: 71 pts
5. Gabriele Tarquini: 52 pts
WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP: MANUFACTURER STANDINGS
1. Citroën Total: 323 points
2. Honda: 204 pts
3. Lada: 131 pts