2019 Ningbo, FIA WTCR Round 19 HLTS
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Muller beats Ma by two tenths in Ningbo Race 1
Yvan Muller claimed his first victory since he joined Lynk&Co, giving the Chinese manufacturer a much-anticipated victory on its home racetrack. Ma Qing Hua completed the Chinese glorious day by finishing second, only two tenths behind.
However, the drivers who benefited more from the race results were Mikel Azcona and Norbert Michelisz, who finished third and fourth and significantly closed the gap in the standings from Esteban Guerrieri, who was forced to start from the pit lane after his fire extinguisher blew up on the grid. The Argentine finished out of the points and so his margin was reduced to only nine points ahead of Michelisz, while Azcona moved into the third position, 43 points off the leader.
The race was mainly processional, with Muller taking advantage of the pole position to lead from the start and then closing all the gaps to keep Ma at bay. Azcona ran close behind them until the final laps, when he lost contact while defending the third position from Michelisz.
Action will resume tomorrow morning at 09:00 local time (03:00 CET) with the Qualifying session for Races 2 and 3.
1. Yvan Muller (Cyan Racing, Lykn&Co 03), 13 laps
2. Ma Qing Hua (Mulsanne Racing, Alfa Romeo Giulietta), 0.263
3. Mikel Azcona (PWR Racing, CUPRA), 2.444
4. Norbert Michelisz (BRC Squadra Corse, Hyundai i30 N), 2.843
5. Nicky Catsburg (BRC Lukoil Racing, Hyundai i30 N), 3.092
1. Guerrieri 231 pts; 2. Michelisz 222; 3. Azcona 188