Tom Coronel has claimed his second World Touring Car Championship race win of the 2016 season, holding off former teammate Tom Chilton with a defensive drive from pole position in the opening race on the streets of Vila Real.

After qualifying tenth-fastest to secure pole position for the opening reversed-grid race, Coronel made a textbook getaway to lead the pack through the opening sequence of corners.

Chilton got the jump on Coronel’s fellow front-row starter Nicky Catsburg in the LADA to slot into second place, with the top three running in that order for the remainder of the race.

Coronel and Chilton built a small gap over Catsburg and the chasing pack of Mehdi Bennani, José María López, Thed Björk, Rob Huff and Norbert Michelisz.

The tight yet high speed nature of the Vila Real circuit presents few, if any, overtaking opportunities, and despite Chilton having the quicker car he was unable to find his way past.

Coronel would hold his nerve, knowing that only a mistake would prove enough to give Chilton’s Citroën the lead. The two crossed the line separated by less than six-tenths of a second, with Catsburg gallantly holding on in his ballast-heavy LADA to claim third place, despite a very soft brake pedal.

Bennani finished fourth ahead of fellow Citroën runner López, while Huff provided one of the few passing moves in his Honda when he passed Björk’s Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo at the roundabout on the penultimate lap.

Michelisz finished eighth, with Honda teammate and Race 2 pole-sitter Tiago Monteiro driving clean races to sandwich ninth-placed Yvan Muller. Incredibly, the top eleven finishers were covered by just 9.7 seconds at the end of the race.


2016 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal – Race 1 Final Classification (13 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 26:11.089
2. Tom Chilton uk Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 13 + 0.597
3. Nick Catsburg nl LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 13 + 2.626
4. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 13 + 3.145
5. José María López Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 13 + 3.626
6. Rob Huff uk Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 13 + 4.332
7. Thed Björk Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 13 + 5.155
8. Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 13 + 5.452
9. Yvan Muller fr Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 13 + 7.411
10. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 13 + 8.054
11. James Thompson uk Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 9.711
12. Gabriele Tarquini it LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 13 + 15.602
13. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 13 + 20.282
14. Ferenc Ficza Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 13 + 30.555
15. John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 13 + 32.774
16. Grégoire Demoustier fr Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 13 + 33.218
17. Dániel Nagy Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 13 + 1:07.844
Not Classified
DNF. Hugo Valente LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 4 Suspension

Image via FIA WTCC

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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