Puebla: Race one, two notes

TERTING OVER THE MOON AS GIOVANARDI CLOSES THE GAP In front of fully packed grandstands, the FIA WTCC's first overseas meeting provided a great show for the enthusiasitc Mexican fans. Two breathtaking races resulted in two different podiums;...

TERTING OVER THE MOON AS GIOVANARDI CLOSES THE GAP

In front of fully packed grandstands, the FIA WTCC's first overseas meeting provided a great show for the enthusiasitc Mexican fans.

Two breathtaking races resulted in two different podiums; only Tom Coronel was able to encore, scoring two victories in the Independent's Trophy.

The first race was dominated by the Alfa Romeo men. Fabrizio Giovanardi claimed his second win of the season, leading his team mate Gabriele Tarquini under the chequered flag. Only in the final stages did Rickard Rydell manage to spoil an Alfa Romeo 1-2-3 by overtaking James Thompson.

The second race saw Peter Terting leading from lights to flag and obtain his first success as a professional racing driver, and the second for SEAT this season. Antonio García tried in vain to put pressure on him, and finally settled for second. Again the third position was awarded after a tough fight in which Roberto Colciago overtook Giovanardi on the last lap, completing a stunning recovery from 20th position on the grid. However he was later penalised by 30 seconds for this manoeuvre.

BMW had a black day only partially saved by García's podium as Andy Priaulx and both the Müllers scored just one point between them. Despite this Dirk Müller is still leading the Drivers Championship, but only with a 2-point margin ahead of Giovanardi who managed to move up to second. Priaulx slipped down to third, closely chased by García and Tarquini. The top-five drivers are covered by only 9 points.

Chevrolet drivers scored their first Championship points today. Robert Huff broke the duck with a 6th position in Race 1. He could have done even better in the second, but he made a mistake and went off. However his team mate Nicola Larini managed to finish 8th.

The FIA WTCC will now return to Europe, for Rounds 11 and 12 on 30th of July in Spa, Belgium.

RACE 1 GIOVANARDI AND TARQUINI MAKE 1-2

Due to the implementation of penalties, Colciago (qualified 1st), Terting (qualified 2nd) Farfus (qualified 4th) and Plato (qualified 10th) were all demoted by ten positions on the grid for the start of Race 1.

At the start Giovanardi took the lead from pole position, followed by team mate Thompson. During the first lap Tarquini overtook Gené for third, García overtook Huff, and Coronel climbed one position to 8th. In lap 2, Gené touched the wall at the entrance of turn 15 and was unable to continue. Colciago overtook Menu, Coronel, Huff and García in the next 2 laps to jump to 5th.

Terting overtook Coronel for 8th position in lap 4. Over the next two laps, Colciago had Rydell in his sights and eventually overtook the SEAT driver in the first turn of lap 7. In the same lap, the BMW cars of Priaulx and Zanardi made contact at turn 4. The former went to the pits and rejoined for the last few laps whereas the latter continued and finished 13th overall.

Tarquini claimed 2nd position from team-mate Thompson in lap 8 while Dirk Müller was chasing Huff. The Chevrolet was just 0.192 of a second ahead of Müller at the start of lap 8 but soon pulled away with a gap of over two seconds. Colciago's storming progress ended as a gearbox failure meant he retired to the pits.

While Giovanardi and Tarquini pulled away with a gap of 10 seconds, Rydell was chasing Thompson for the third podium position and eventually overtook him on lap 14. In the meantime, Rydell's team-mate, Terting was battling with Huff, for 6th place, the latter made a move on lap 16 and crossed the finishing line ahead of the young German, scoring Chevrolet's first points in the Drivers' Championship.

Dirk Müller was close behind the pair until he also hit the wall on the banking and retired. García finished in 5th position, the best of the BMW cars. Coronel won the Independent category with a brilliant 8th place overall.

RACE 2 FIRST VICTORY FOR PETER TERTING

At the start, Terting overtook Coronel to lead the race. García got off the line quickly to jump from 4th to 2nd.

In the opening lap Tarquini and Zanardi made contact, both came off the track and sustained too much damage to continue the race. On lap 2, Thompson overtook Coronel for 3rd and Giovanardi passed Huff for 5th as they crossed the line. Giovanardi proceeded to gain another place over the next three laps by passing Coronel, who at this point had a long line of drivers behind him.

In lap 6, García and Thompson made contact. Both went off the track but rejoined. Huff, spun his car at turn six which put an end to his race in lap 7 while he was fighting for 5th position with Colciago and Coronel. At the same time the 9th Rydell and 14th D'Aste were in a long line, almost bumper to bumper.

Lap 13 saw Gené, who started the race from the pits, crash his car into the tyres at turn 11. He did return to the race after visit to the pits but only completed 12 laps.

Halfway through the race, García provided some nail biting moments as he trailed Terting's SEAT closely for the entire race and edged closer towards the end, but the young German resisted and went to claim his first victory.

Colciago had an amazing race. He came from 20th and by lap seven he was in eighth position. He continued to pass his competitors one by one, until he was fighting for the third podium spot. In the last three laps, the JAS Motorsport man closed the gap between he and Giovanardi from 2.7 seconds to just 0.7 coming into the final lap. It was at these very final stages Colciago made a move on Giovanardi, they clashed, Colciago went through and crossed the line 0.117 of a second ahead. After the race the Stewards decided to impose a 30-second penality on him, which meant he was dropped to 18th.

Coronel won the independent category for the second time of the day, and again scored points for the Drivers' Championship with an excellent 5th position overall.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Antonio Garcia , Dirk Müller , Tom Coronel , James Thompson , Peter Terting , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicola Larini , Roberto Colciago