Priaulx takes victory in race one Andy Priaulx converted his pole position into a dominant victory in the first FIA World Touring Car Championship race at Macau to seize the lead of the title chase. The BMW driver made a good start from pole...
Priaulx takes victory in race one
Andy Priaulx converted his pole position into a dominant victory in the first FIA World Touring Car Championship race at Macau to seize the lead of the title chase.
The BMW driver made a good start from pole position and, despite attempts by Dirk Muller and Duncan Huisman to wrest the lead on the run down to Lisboa, the Briton was comfortably ahead by the braking zone.
He then set about pulling away and, despite a worrying moment on lap two when he was forced to reduce his speed to a crawl at the Melco Hairpin after coming up behind a very slow Stefano D'Aste, he comfortably edged out a lead to finish 1.020 seconds ahead of Huisman.
"I am very pleased to have got the win from pole position, but obviously we have still got to perform in the second race," said Priaulx, who was relieved that the following Huisman was protecting his position. "It was great to have Duncan behind me and he allowed me to build up a little lead."
The result provided a major boost for Priaulx's championship ambitions, especially with many of his title rivals hitting trouble. Yvan Muller's third place was not enough to keep him in the fight, while Dirk Muller's hopes were wrecked when he was spun around by Fabrizio Giovanardi at Lisboa on lap one. He recovered to finish 14th.
The only other men still able to win the championship after the race were Augusto Farfus. Jr, who finished fifth behind Giovanardi, and Jorg Muller who took sixth.
The race provided plenty of drama. SEAT's James Thompson collided with Chevrolet's Alain Menu at the hairpin on lap two before crashing into Nicola Larini at Lisboa on lap seven. Larini recovered only to smash his car against the barriers at San Francisco.
Priaulx and Huisman's result, allied to trouble for several SEAT drivers, helped BMW clinch the manufacturers' championship.