ANOTHER 1-2 FOR SEAT WITH GENE AND RYDELL Jordi Gene led from pole to secure the win of the first race in Puebla. He started alongside Chevrolet's Nicola Larini, and was only challenged during the rolling start when Larini came up beside him off...
ANOTHER 1-2 FOR SEAT WITH GENE AND RYDELL
Jordi Gene led from pole to secure the win of the first race in Puebla. He started alongside Chevrolet's Nicola Larini, and was only challenged during the rolling start when Larini came up beside him off the line. Gene's SEAT Sport team mate Rickard Rydell came up from sixth during the first corner scuffle to second place, and remained there for the rest of the race. From this position he was able to protect his team mate from the Chevrolet charge coming from behind.
As the field went into the first corner there were several clashes in the middle of the pack: BMW drivers Alessandro Zanardi, Jorg Muller, Andy Priaulx and Felix Porteiro were all involved. Chevrolet's Alain Menu, who overtook Tom Coronel on the first lap for fourth position slipped back during the race as the car seemed to struggle for pace; he was sixth for much of the race.
Larini followed SEAT's 1-2 into third position, with Coronel behind in a brilliant fourth. Gabriele Tarquini performed a pushy overtaking manoeuvre on Alain Menu to secure fifth position, and Yvan Muller followed him into sixth place. Another SEAT Sport driver Tiago Monteiro took seventh spot to round off a successful race for SEAT.
Muller and Monteiro overtook Menu in the final moments when he went extremely wide at a corner, and therefore the Chevrolet driver finished eighth and will begin the second race from pole position.
Robert Huff finished ninth in the Chevrolet, following an eventful race. He tangled with Yvan Muller in the first laps, which damaged his wheel and caused him to lose places. However, he fought back and overtook Augusto Farfus to finish just behind his team mate.
As the previous sessions of the weekend have shown, the BMW cars struggled again in the race. Several were involved in scuffles and others, including Farfus, seemed to lack the pace of SEAT and Chevrolet. Priaulx ended up finishing in the highest position in tenth place behind Huff.
Pierre-Yves Corthals won the Independents' class; he had begun the race from pole position, but had problems at the start with cars bumping into him. He struggled for grip on the track, leaving the racetrack in the final laps, but managed to stay ahead of closest rival Stefano D'Aste to finish twelfth overall.
Before the start of the race a minute's silence was observed to remember Eurosport's commentator David Leslie and the other victims of the plane crash.