Nicky Catsburg has capped off an historic weekend for the LADA Sport team by claiming his maiden World Touring Car Championship victory in Sunday’s main race at Moscow Raceway.

After leading an emphatic 1-2-3 on home soil for the Russian carmaker in qualifying on Saturday, the Dutchman repeated the 1-2 finish from the first race – which teammate Gabriele Tarquini won ahead of him – by beating home the Italian veteran by one second.

The result vaults the Dutchman to equal-second in the Drivers’ Championship standings, thanks to a poor race for the Citroëns of Mehdi Bennani and Yvan Muller who collected just one point between them.

While the rain that struck the first race had started to ease, it wasn’t enough to warrant a switch to dry-weather tyres.

Having had a reputation for appalling getaways off the line, Catsburg at last managed to get it right from pole position and led his LADA teammates Tarquini and Hugo Valente into Turn 1.

Any hopes that LADA may have had of repeating their qualifying 1-2-3 in the race were dashed when Valente – who had generally been off-the-pace of his teammates all weekend – was passed early on by the Honda of Norbert Michelisz.

The Hondas appeared to have found some grip after a poor showing in Race 1, and this time it was Citroën which had the poor set-up, with José María López and Yvan Muller tumbling down the order.

López ended the worst weekend of his illustrious career by finishing in eighth, while Muller finished outside of the points and was even overtaken by rookie driver Ferenc Ficza in the Zengö Motorsport Honda on the penultimate lap of the race.

Valente steadily slipped back and was overtaken by the Hondas of Rob Huff and Tiago Monteiro, as well as the Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet of James Thompson, en route to a disappointing seventh. Stand-in driver Thompson was impressive, backing up his Race 1 WTCC Trophy win with a repeat effort in Race 2.

The track steadily dried out over the course of the race, and while there were fears that the wet-weather tyres would start to fall apart, Catsburg held on ahead of a faster Tarquini in the final laps to claim his maiden race win one year on from making his highly impressive series debut.

The next round of the WTCC takes place in two weeks’ time at the Vila Real street circuit in Portugal on July 26.

2016 FIA WTCC Race of Russia – Race 2 Final Classification (17 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Nick Catsburg nl LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 17 33:00.149
2. Gabriele Tarquini it LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 17 + 1.011
3. Norbert Michelisz Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 17 + 13.681
4. Rob Huff uk Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 17 + 20.120
5. Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Civic WTCC 17 + 25.497
6. James Thompson uk Münnich Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 17 + 29.838
7. Hugo Valente LADA Sport Rosneft Vesta WTCC 17 + 30.611
8. José María López Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 17 + 36.168
9. Ferenc Ficza Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC 17 + 37.289
10. Mehdi Bennani Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 17 + 42.772
11. Yvan Muller fr Citroën Racing WTCC C-Elysée 17 + 45.498
12. Fredrik Ekblom Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 17 + 54.460
13. Grégoire Demoustier fr Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 17 + 56.782
14. John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet RML Cruze 17 + 1:05.333
15. Thed Björk Polestar Cyan Racing Volvo S60 TC1 volvo 17 + 1:19.323
16. Tom Chilton uk Sébastien Loeb Racing Citroën C-Elysée 16 + 1 lap
Not Classified
DNF. Tom Coronel nl ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet RML Cruze 1 Mechanica

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.