Curitiba: Series race one report

Weather: sunny and hot with a dry track. SEAT SPORT CLAIM A 1-2 FINISH SEAT Sport drivers Yvan Muller and Rickard Rydell held off the BMW Team Germany's attack of Augusto Farfus and Jorg Muller, to win the first race in Curitiba. This was a...

Weather: sunny and hot with a dry track.

SEAT SPORT CLAIM A 1-2 FINISH

SEAT Sport drivers Yvan Muller and Rickard Rydell held off the BMW Team Germany's attack of Augusto Farfus and Jorg Muller, to win the first race in Curitiba.

This was a tough race for the leading two, who in the final laps had to work hard to defend their position as their tyres were wearing out. However, it was even tougher for Chevrolet. On lap 3 Nicola Larini made contact with Robert Huff, who spun in the centre of the racetrack. Larini could not continue the race, but Huff continued and began to make up ground by overtaking Felix Porteiro, only to pit on lap 8 with rear suspension failure; a late result of the collision. Alain Menu had also pitted earlier following a shunt with Jordi Gene and did not resume the race.

Farfus had a poor start falling back to fifth, as he was one of cars to take to the grass at the first corner. However, he quickly made up ground passing Muller on lap 3, and then both of them passed Gabriele Tarquini on lap 8 moving up to third and fourth respectively. For the remainder of the race Farfus chased the leading cars, but on the final lap came under pressure from his team mate and had to defend third place until the finish.

Reigning world champion Andy Priaulx took fifth spot following late overtaking of Tarquini and Gene. Porteiro made up the top eight finishers in the race, overtaking Tom Coronel. However it will be Tom Coronel (9th classified) to start from pole on the reverse grid of the second race as Gene was given a 30 second penalty due to hitting Menu.

In the Independents' class the fight for the first place between Pierre-Yves Corthals and Sergio Hernandez ended in a final lap contact. Corthals crossed the line first but eventually he was given a 30-second penalty and Olivier Tielemans inherited victory.

BULLET NEWS

BUREAU LIMITS DIESEL TURBO PRESSURE

The FIA Touring Car Bureau have issued a decision this morning to limit the supercharged air pressure and the fuel rail pressure on the SEAT Leon TDI cars.

Both pressures have been limited to the average maximum values measured by the FIA data logger during yesterday's qualifying session.

This decision only applies to the current race meeting.

ALAIN MENU BACK IN ACTION

Alain Menu has fully recovered from his crash during yesterday's qualifying session. The Swiss driver was discharged by Curitiba's Cajuru hospital after all the scans were negative and this morning he was cleared to race after a final check from the FIA medical delegate.

The Chevrolet team worked until 1.00am on Sunday morning to repair his Lacetti car that suffered from extensive damage to the bodywork and suspension.

WARMUP - FARFUS FASTEST, D'ASTE CRASHES

Stefano D'Aste crashed at turn 9 near to the end of the warm up session, seriously damaging his BMW, but escaped unharmed. However Proteam Motorsport's mechanics were able to repair the car in time for the races.

The crash happened with one minute to go in the session, which was red flagged and not resumed. This left Augusto Farfus as fastest with a time of 1:24.237 leading a BMW 1-2-3 from Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx.

THEY SAID, THEY SAID.

Yvan MULLER

"I wasn't expecting to keep my position for the whole race for several reasons: the temperature went up very quickly and the weather wasn't in our favour. Also the lap times of the BMW showed they were very consistently quick, and it was hard. It wasn't easy at all because any small mistake could have caused the end, so we had attack all the way through."

Rickard RYDELL

"I am very pleased with the result today. It was one of the toughest races I have had and it was clear that BMW were half a second quicker than us and they pushed. Yvan and I have to thank Gabriele (Tarquini) because without him there we would have had to deal with the pressure for the whole race, but we only had to it for half of the race. I really didn't think it would be possible to keep Farfus behind me."

Augusto FARFUS

"I was right on the limit and could not have pushed more, we were quite strong and they did a very good job. It is very hard to overtake in those conditions and I am happy with 3rd as the championship is very long. The start wasn't the problem, but there was a bit of a mess at the first corner and I went onto the grass and was able to slot into 5th place."

Pierre-Yves CORTHALS "I couldn't have wished for a better start, I am sorry for Coronel who I bumped, but I am happy. I had a good fight with Hernandez, he passed me but on the last last he braked really early compared to me and I slightly bumped him, for which I am sorry, and went through."

Next Race

WTCC Race of Brazil - Autodromo Internacional de Curitiba - 1 / 2 March 2008

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Sergio Hernandez , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Olivier Tielemans , Pierre-Yves Corthals , Alain Menu