Monza: Series race one report

SEAT 1-2-3 WITH MULLER, TARQUINI AND RYDELL SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller, who leads the Driver's Championship, took the first win in Monza from team mate Gabriele Tarquini. Rickard Rydell finished behind them in third to make it a complete SEAT ...

SEAT 1-2-3 WITH MULLER, TARQUINI AND RYDELL

SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller, who leads the Driver's Championship, took the first win in Monza from team mate Gabriele Tarquini. Rickard Rydell finished behind them in third to make it a complete SEAT podium.

But the race was not as simple as it sounds. As they all raced over the line for the rolling start. Felix Porteiro made contact with James Thompson, sending the N.technology Honda driver spinning across the track. He collected third position driver Jordi Gene, Alain Menu, Robert Huff, Pierre-Yves Corthals and Stefano D'Aste. Gene, Huff and Corthals escaped relatively cleanly as they slotted back into the race, but Menu fell back to the bottom of the field. D'Aste rejoined after a long pit stop and Porteiro was unable to continue, though he managed to get his damaged car back to the pits for the mechanics to fix for race 2. Thompson was also out of the race, as his car was left stranded in the middle of the racetrack.

Yvan Muller led the race at this point from Tarquini, and Rydell, but further back things were getting interesting. Huff fought with and overtook Alessandro Zanardi over the finish line as the cars completed the first lap, demonstrating the speed potential of the Chevrolet Lacetti. His team mate Nicola Larini, who had a great start getting up to fourth, was being chased by the BMWs of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx. Farfus managed to find a way past him, only for the Italian to take him back again, and then tried to overtake Rydell, but he was forced backwards as Rydell closed the door. Then Priaulx took Farfus, and it began to look like the Brazilian was having problems with the car. Within a lap he was forced to stop at the end of the pit straight with smoke pouring out of the back of the car.

Half way through the race Tarquini took the lead as he got into Muller's slipstream, but a couple of laps later Tarquini let his team mate back through after Muller got a good slipstream. So Muller finished ahead of Championship rivals Tarquini and Rydell, with Priaulx in fourth and Monteiro, in the SEAT that lost out in qualifying yesterday, behind him in fifth.

Larini finished sixth following an incident with Rydell in the final lap of the race. He tried to pass the SEAT driver, made contact and forced Rydell to cut the chicane. Rydell slowed down to abide by regulations, but Larini suffered damage and began to fall back, finishing just ahead of his team mate. Huff overtook Gene on the final laps to take seventh position, and Gene who lost out in the first corner will start from pole for the second race.

Corthals and Franz Engstler had a good fight for the Independents' Trophy. Corthals struggled on the straights following the first lap incident with Thompson, but was able to beat Engstler into the corners as he finally took the win.

-credit: fiawtcc.com

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Series WTCC
Drivers Andy Priaulx , Yvan Muller , Augusto Farfus , Franz Engstler , Felix Porteiro , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Jordi Gene , Stefano D'Aste , Nicola Larini , Pierre-Yves Corthals , Alain Menu