BMW CLAIM 1-2-3 Jorg Muller turned his pole into a win in the first race of the season.After the rolling start Andy Priaulx promoted himself above Augusto Farfus and the top three remained the same. The first corner proved catastrophic for...
BMW CLAIM 1-2-3
Jorg Muller turned his pole into a win in the first race of the season.After the rolling start Andy Priaulx promoted himself above Augusto Farfus and the top three remained the same.
The first corner proved catastrophic for Alfa Romeo as both drivers - James Thompson and Olivier Tielemans - were caught up in a collision also claiming Nicola Larini, Alain Menu and Luca Rangoni as casualties.
The only car involved that continued was Pierre-Yves Corthals', which went on to win the independent category. Due to this incident the safety car was deployed for three laps and the Stewards summoned Larini and Yvan Muller to investigate on the happening.
On the restart Muller got a clean break. Farfus came close to Priaulx at several moments but was never able to mount a challenge. Behind the leading pack Gabriele Tarquini crossed the line fourth for SEAT Sport followed by Rob Huff; the only Chevrolet left in the race. Tom Coronel was on the tail of the Briton but eventually crossed the line seventh.
The front row for the standing start of Race 2 will be compiled of Yvan Muller on pole and Alex Zanardi right beside.
Felix Porteiro was set to line up in front of the pack as he was lying eighth for the majority of the race. However an error at Curva da Vitoria on lap 12 left him out of the race and in the gravel.
In a similar incident, Emmet O'Brien, who was leading the independent category left braking too late at Pinheirinho and rejoined 13th which equated to third independent behind Corthals and Stefano D'Aste.
RACE 1 -- DRIVERS' QUOTES
"I had a bad start to the season last year but this is obviously a great one. It shows how much work we put in over the winter and the potential we have for the rest of the season. I tried to create gap from Andy [Priaulx] which worked in the first few laps but then the rear dropped off and Andy caught me. At the end of the straight here it gets very tight and being 8th I don't want to get caught in any trouble in Race 2."
"I was chasing Jorg because I always drive as fast as I can. As it turned out his car was better at the start but mine was stronger over the closing laps. Augusto [Farfus] was difficult to keep behind at the beginning -- he is a quick kid. So far this has been a tough weekend but if I can still finish 2nd I will look forward to a good one!"
"My goal for my first race with BMW was to finish and score points. I have done both and also got on the podium so I am pleased. I was chasing Andy at the start as I was curious to see how his car would be for the duration of the race but in the end it was quicker. I learned a lot about how the car performs over a whole race and I am looking forward to doing it again."
"I was unlucky to be caught up with Larini's car at the start and I ended up in the gravel. However, I overtook some people and then I was chasing O'Brien when he made a mistake. A great result for me and my new team in their first race in the WTCC."