SECOND VICTORY FOR THOMPSON
In undoubtedly the best race of the season so far, James Thompson scored his second victory of the day. He stormed through from eighth on the grid. Jörg Müller crossed the line second while Andy Priaulx claimed the final podium position.Yvan Muller achieved SEAT Sport's best result by coming home 4th. Chevrolet's Nicola Larini had another strong point-scoring race finishing 5th overall.
Luca Rangoni had a great start and coming into the second corner he was in the lead. By the second corner however Müller had reclaimed the position. Priaulx had promoted himself to third by overtaking Michel Jourdain's SEAT León. The Mexican got a bad start and was overtaken by Thompson on lap one. Alain Menu tried to capitalise and briefly went through but Jourdain reclaimed 7th place.
Lap three was one of battles with Yvan Muller and Priaulx fighting for third, and Thompson with Gené in his sights. Priaulx defended against Muller while Thompson overtook the Gené. Muller then came under fire from the Alfa man and lost 4th place to him.
On lap four Priaulx overtook Rangoni for the podium position. Rangoni then dropped down to finish seventh but still claimed the independent win. It was not an easy task however as his Valencian rookie team-mate Sergio Hernández was challenging all the way and eventually finished a remarkable eighth to score a championship point.
While Müller and Priaulx contested the lead Thompson overtook Rangoni for third and caught up on the pair. At the end of the pit straight on lap seven the Briton edged past Priaulx and then he overtook Müller on the following lap.
On the last lap Menu suffered a technical problem and dropped from 6th to 14th; the position behind team-mate Rob Huff who had also slipped out of the point zone after he went wide on lap 8.
QUOTES FROM VALENCIA RACES
"You can't ask better than a pole and two wins, I'm so happy. I think I've only ever won two races in one day a couple of times before but never at this level. You can't do it without the car underneath you and for that I thank the team. All weekend we had worked on being the fastest coming into the first corner and having that made overtaking relatively easy. It was tough with Yvan in race one but in race two Jörg (Müller) and Andy (Priaulx) were very fair. The championship has just started for me."
"Just as in Zandvoort I was second again. But second means a lot of points for the championship and that's not a bad thing. I had a fantastic start. My choice to start in 2nd gear was the right one because I had a lot more speed than the people around me."
"I'm not sure whether it was me or the car but I wasn't happy with things this weekend because I couldn't find that extra tenth compared to my team-mate or Andy. With this in mind I knew it would be tough in the races and I'd have to make no mistakes. To keep Andy behind I had to use all three of my mirrors! The championship is still in the early stages. I'm at the front of the queue now and it is where I would like to stay."
"Being on the outside in a rolling start means it is difficult to keep position. Nicola (Larini) was really fast so I couldn't get behind James (Thompson) as I wanted. Instead I tried to go outside James but it didn't work and I lost the place. I was quick in the corners but on every straight I lost about a car's length to Nicola."
"I had a great race with Jörg and have no regrets about not risking more to overtake him because that could have meant the two of us out. Instead I had to wait for him to make a mistake but he didn't. I'm very pleased to be back on the pace and in good form. We are building momentum for the championship again."
"These victories are very important because after a difficult time in qualifying yesterday I didn't think it would happen. I have to say I was lucky because with all the crashes in the first race I found a gap and went through. I enjoyed the start of the second race because I got to fight with Jörg and Andy. Unfortunately my car developed a technical problem, I'm not sure what it was, and from then on the race was very tough and I fell back."