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Menu wins dramatic FIA World Touring Car Championship race
Alain Menu took victory in a spectacular first FIA World Touring Car Championship race at Macau on Sunday. But all eyes were on Andy Priaulx, who took a crucial eighth place as his main title rivals hit trouble.
Yvan Muller led away at the start, moving ahead of pole position man Alain Menu straight away at the rolling start. From there he was able to edge away slightly, but Menu kept with him and refused to give up completely on the lead.
Behind them, BMW's Augusto Farfus in third place faced a stiff challenge from SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini - and even received some contact from behind on the run from Lisboa into San Francisco on lap two.
Farfus lost time with that contact but as Muller and Menu lapped at the front of the field, Farfus steadily reeled them in - before getting right behind them in the final laps of the race.
But then drama unfolded as first stewards informed that they were investigating Muller's car - potentially for having been ahead of Menu at the start.
Then on lap eight, Muller stopped with a suspected mechanical problem - handing Menu the lead but also delaying Farfus enough to allow Tarquini to close in once again.
Tarquini made a bid to take the second spot and under braking for Lisboa, the Italian tried to get around the outside of Farfus but could not find a way through. Tarquini tried to cut inside for the next corner, but as Farfus defended once again the pair collided.
Farfus spun into the barriers on the right hand side and was out on the spot, ending his dreams of the FIA WTCC title. Tarquini kept going to finish second, ahead of Chevrolet's Rob Huff.
The incidents helped Priaulx take the eighth place he needed for a single point but more crucially pole position for race two.