Video: 2014 round one, Morocco
13th April 2014, 20:04 at 8:04 pm #256821
To the surprise of no one, the Citroens dominated the 20-car World Touring Car Championship field in the first race of the season at Marrakech:
Jose Maria Lopez, Sebastien Loeb and Yvan Muller filled the podium and finished eight seconds clear of their rivals. But a fastest race lap 1.5s faster than anyone else managed showed the margin could have been much greater.13th April 2014, 20:56 at 8:56 pm #256823
I have to say, I was completely appalled at the majority of things that happened during the WTCC today. It started with the team orders between Citroen and the boring first race this caused. The loss of the French national anthem for race one winning constructors Citroen didn’t help matters and there was then the stupidity of moving half the grid around before they started race two! There was then the contact and resulting penalty (which came after the red flag period and before they’d had a chance to listen to Bennani’s point of view), the delaying of the red flag and the delaying of the safety car coming in (although I can see why this done). On top of that there was the driver’s who had collided arguing with one another on the grid before the restart – although that was quite fun to watch.
Overall though I think the WTCC should be ashamed of itself today. It more closely resembled an amateur club racing meeting rather than an officially sanctioned FIA event.13th April 2014, 21:29 at 9:29 pm #256825
Incident between Tom Coronel and Mehdi Bennani at the start, you can see clearly form Bennani’s onboard footage he just kept pushing him until he crashed.
Can’t believe the stewards only handed out a DT for this.
Agree with @bradley13 that a lot of things today are just not acceptable for an FIA event.13th April 2014, 21:37 at 9:37 pm #256827
I’m very unsatisfied with the WTCC after today, the Citroen team orders were a total joke and while the cars look great the design of them doesn’t seem to factor the rough nature of touring cars. What does Honda’s rear bumper budget look like this year?
The decision of the stewards is all over the place too, not only does Bennani get a penalty in the race but he also now gets a grid drop for France just because the race actually turned out well for him in the end with 5th place. Personally I don’t think he should have had any sort of penalty, at least not before he could speak to the stewards.
The domination of Citroen today concerns me, especially if this is going to be what happens for the rest of the season. People moaned about Chevrolet but at least when SEAT and BMW were in the WTCC as well there was fairly equal competition between them. After France the compensation weights will come into effect but I doubt that will do much to help the rest of the field.13th April 2014, 21:38 at 9:38 pm #256828
If you thought it all can’t be topped, then here’s one more fun WTCC stewards’ decision:
“Dušan Borković lost one position in the first race after he was demoted from fifth to sixth by a Stewards’ decision.
The Serbian driver was punished because his team removed the SD card from the onboard camera; the penalty consisted of ten seconds that were added to the elapsed race time, which placed him sixth behind Tiago Monteiro.”
By the way, the championship must abandon this place, it brings nothing more but trouble, crashes and craziness.13th April 2014, 22:50 at 10:50 pm #256830
I didn’t see the team orders stuff in race one – presumably that’s what Martin Haven was complaining about.
Guess Citroen aren’t interested in taking a leaf out of Mercedes’ book.13th April 2014, 22:56 at 10:56 pm #256831
Poor Bennani just got excluded from race 2 after his car has been found underweight.13th April 2014, 23:02 at 11:02 pm #25683313th April 2014, 23:19 at 11:19 pm #256834
@keithcollantine You’re right, but in my view they both played their parts in that.
Even if I’m wrong, the pile of penalties still coming in on him and this one really wasn’t his fault, although I’m sure you know what I meant :)13th April 2014, 23:58 at 11:58 pm #256837
@keithcollantine – Yeah it was. At one point they all backed off like two seconds a lap slower, but picked up pace again when Chilton got close.
I’m in agreement with @hunosci, I think they were as much to blame as one another in that incident, although it is suspicious how Bennani shot to the right after Coronel initially span. Also, that Borković decision is just… I can no longer think of words to describe how pathetic the WTCC has been made to look today.
Honda’s rear bumper’s were another thing I forgot to mention, it’s like the driver’s had ejector buttons for them, surely it’s not safe for them to be falling off everywhere?
I have to say I’m glad I watch the BTCC. As much as it may hurt their pride I think the FIA need to take a long hard look at the BTCC, and see a Championship that is clearly doing it right. Full grid, close racing, huge fan support, professionalism. Everything that was missing from Morocco today.14th April 2014, 4:05 at 4:05 am #256848
I don’t understand this championship at all. Just 20 cars, very short races, a horrible track for a first race of the season, with just the 2nd round starting 4 days later, a team utterly dominating the field and nothing interesting at all…
In hindsight, if Pechito Lopez wanted to race hard, he could’ve well stayed here in Argentina.14th April 2014, 5:57 at 5:57 am #256849
Well at least there’s plenty of action and overtaking! I’ve always found the races to be fun to watch, lots of action packed into a short time, as opposed to many other series out there… and I’m not picking on F1 here.
As for the incident, all I can say is that if I was in a touring car race and was coming alongside someone, and they decided to leave me less than a car width to attempt a pass, that crash is exactly what would happen. Bennani definitely could’ve been closer to the wall when he started his move though, and like @bradley13 said he shot to the right after the contact, which makes you wonder if he was pushing his car into Coronel the whole time.14th April 2014, 7:53 at 7:53 am #256850
I love the concept of WTCC, but the execution – especially this weekend – leaves a lot to be desired.
The BTCC and the V8SuperCars in particular do touring cars so much better.14th April 2014, 7:56 at 7:56 am #256851
That start crash was ridiculous. I may be in the minority here, but I’m pinning the blame solely on Coronel. He just kept closing the gap, even after he made contact with Bennani. As for Bennani’s swerve to the right after Coronel began to spin, wouldn’t you have taken avoiding action if a car spun in front of you? There is nothing in any of the replays in the video above that suggests Bennani caused Coronel to spin.
I admit that I don’t follow the series as closely as I should, so I have no knowledge of whether Coronel or Bennani usually get into these sorts of incidents.14th April 2014, 8:37 at 8:37 am #256855
I have to agree with the fellow fanatics here, I think WTCC have all the ingredients to make a great championship but the people are just messing it up. Citroen’s advantage is so crushing that they don’t need team orders and the way they handled the collision between Bennani and Coronel was simply amateurish.
What is more, they have scheduled the next race for this weekend, which means that a few drivers probably won’t be able to participate as there is not enough time to repair the damaged cars. The multiple world champion Muller has already labelled the decision to put one race behind the other “very stupid”.
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