“Absolutely fabulous!” said Tom Chilton after winning Beijing's first race
The Brit had surprised everybody taking the pole in the morning and was simply unapproachable during the race.A long safety-car period as from lap 3, caused by an accident between Borković and Münnich, which provisionally cancelled Chilton’s 4-second advantage, didn’t impact at all on the his composure.
Yvan Muller and championship leader José María López completed the podium for Citroën, with the Frenchman securing second as from the start when he passed Tarquini. The Italian lost third in the closing laps, falling as an indirect victim of Ma’s off-track.
The race of the local Chinese star ended when he went wide and hit the tyre wall. Franz Engstler won once again among TC2 contenders.
Key momentsStart – Chilton takes perfect start, while Muller passes Tarquini for second; Ma passes various cars on the outsideLap 1 – Chilton leads by 2 seconds ahead of Muller, Tarquini, López, Loeb and MicheliszLap 3 – There is contact between Münnich and Borković in the back straight, with both cars hitting the wall. The safety-car is deployedLap 11 – At the restart, Chilton pulls away ahead an orderly groupLap 12 – Morbidelli and Michelisz pass Loeb for fifth and sixth; Ma is 9th after overtaking HuffLap 14 – Monteiro (11th) stops in the pits, after being hit by another carLap 16 – Chilton leads with 4.7 seconds ahead of Muller, Tarquini, López, Morbidelli, Michelisz and LoebLap 17 – Ma passes Thompson for 8thLap 23 – Ma goes wide off-track between turns 10 and 11 and loses three positions; the Citroën hits a stack of tyres that bounces back on the track and is collected by CoronelLap 24 – Also Tarquini stops in the pits, after running on some debrisLap 28 – Chilton wins ahead of Muller and López, while Valente drops out of the points with a flat front right tyre