sport

Lopez wins in Salzburg

World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez extended his advantage at the top after victory in the second race at Salzburg.

World Touring Car Championship leader Jose Maria Lopez extended his advantage at the top after victory in the second race at Salzburg.

Nearest rival Yvan Muller had briefly closed the gap to 16 points with a wire-to-wire win in the opener round the Salzburgring but a collision on the first lap of the second instalment put out the Frenchman and Lopez seized his chance.

Two safety car appearances in the second race, the first when Muller and Rob Huff were unwittingly involved, contributed to Lopez's success as on the first restart he passed three Honda cars in a sequence and was pushing leader Gabriele Tarquini when the safety car came out again to allow cleaning of the track making it easier for the Argentinian to take the lead and go on to win with Tarquini leading home a trio of Honda cars.

The second race was a stark contract to the first for Muller who made the most of his pole position to win with a mistake by Lopez in overshooting the first chicance allowing Dutchman Tom Coronel to take second and hold off the Argentinian in the closing stages.

Lopez now has a 41-point advantage over defending champion Muller as they approach the halfway stage of the season.