YVAN MULLER GIVES SEAT WIN IN RACE 1 SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller took the first race win in Imola having overtaken his team mate and pole sitter Rickard Rydell into the first corner. Following this move the pair of drivers led the whole ...
YVAN MULLER GIVES SEAT WIN IN RACE 1
SEAT Sport's Yvan Muller took the first race win in Imola having overtaken his team mate and pole sitter Rickard Rydell into the first corner. Following this move the pair of drivers led the whole race, although Rydell had to defend his position from the Chevrolet cars.
Robert Huff came up to third after having a strong start and jumping ahead of his team mate Alain Menu. However, driver of the race, must go to Honda's James Thompson. He fell back from fifth to eighth at the start, but then began overtaking car after car. First on his list were the BMWs of Jörg Müller and Augusto Farfus, then he put in a brilliant move to take Nicola Larini at Rivazza 1, and soon after that Gabriele Tarquini. His most controversial move was on Alain Menu, who put up a gallant resistance. Eventually Thompson and Menu clashed at the braking of Tamburello and the contact sent the Chevrolet driver into a spin, and in the gravel trap. Thompson's last move was in the final lap when he overtook Huff; his fellow countryman desperately defended the final podium position, but it was to no avail and Thompson finished a remarkable race on the podium.
Huff settled for fourth and some vital Championship points, ahead of Tarquini and his team mate Larini. Farfus and Müller took seventh and eighth positions respectively and they will start from the front row for race two.
Sergio Hernández began the Independents' race from pole position, and remained there, taking the win. However he also finished a brilliant ninth overall, ahead of several factory cars including Porteiro's, Priaulx's and Zanardi's.
Behind the top ten drivers there were some competitive fights for the positions throughout the race. Priaulx and Gené had a few scuffles, before Coronel got involved. The Dutchman overtook Gené, and then tried to jump over the kerb to take Priaulx. Later in the race Gené had more problems as D'Aste fought with him for seventeenth position. Zanardi and Monteiro had a clash in the last lap while fighting for the ninth place. Okyay failed to finish the race, as he had to abandon the car on the side of the racetrack, while LADA drivers Ladygin and Shapovalov were stopped by technical failures.
After this exciting race Muller has stretched his leading gap to 8 points ahead of Tarquini, while reigning Champion Priaulx slipped down to fifth behind Rydell and Huff.