SEAT DRIVERS ENCORE AND ARE CLOSER TO THE TITLE With two 1-2 finishes today in Monza, SEAT Sport drivers have claimed a serious stake on both the World Titles. The retirements of Chevrolet's Robert Huff and BMW's Andy Priaulx, the only two...
SEAT DRIVERS ENCORE AND ARE CLOSER TO THE TITLE
With two 1-2 finishes today in Monza, SEAT Sport drivers have claimed a serious stake on both the World Titles. The retirements of Chevrolet's Robert Huff and BMW's Andy Priaulx, the only two serious competitors left, the Drivers' Championship fight looks restricted to Yvan Muller and Gabriele Tarquini, who shared victory in Monza.
In the Manufacturers' Championship, the Spanish brand have stretched their lead to 54 points ahead of BMW.
Having finished second in the first race Tarquini helped his Championship chances with a win in the second race. He came up from seventh on the grid with a great start to challenge the leaders on the first lap.
BMW Team Italy-Spain driver Alessandro Zanardi started from pole, and although he got away well, he was immediately challenged by an advancing Jordi Gene. Gene got past him on the first lap and scampered away as Zanardi was swallowed up by the chasing pack. Tarquini, Nicola Larini and Yvan Muller overtook him all in one go as the polesitter eventually fell down to seventh position. Tarquini went after leader Gene, and finally overtook him with a couple of laps to go.
Behind the leading SEAT cars Huff experienced a few problems. He began the race in third but by the end of the first lap had slipped back. Huff overtook the struggling Priaulx, but then began to fall back. He did manage a small recovery, only to tangle with Augusto Farfus and end up on the grass. Following this Huff slowed and limped back to the pits; it has been a bad weekend for him. Priaulx was also forced to end his race in the pits after he went straight at the first chicane in an attempt to overtake Yvan Muller. The pair of British drivers drove slowly round the track to the pit entrance and maybe this is the end of their championship hopes.
Following another good start and a strong race, Larini took the final podium place as he escaped the problems he suffered in the first race. By the end he was even able to find the pace to challenge the leaders. Yvan Muller came up from eighth position to take fourth due to some well judged overtaking manoeuvres. Alain Menu overcame the problems from the last race to finish in fifth position having come up the field from row 6. Tiago Monteiro took sixth place, followed closely by Zanardi whose tyres suffered in the race, which greatly affected his pace. Another BMW driver in trouble was Jorg Muller, whose car had considerable damage at the front which resulted in him losing control and hitting Felix Porteiro who spun and lost positions.
Pierre-Yves Corthals failed to start in the second race, so victory for the Independents' Trophy was a private affair between BMW drivers: Sergio Hernandez, Stefano D'Aste, Kristian Poulsen and Franz Engstler who finished in the order. Young Bulgarian George Tanev finished fifth, his best result so far.
The Championship will resume in Okayama, Japan, for rounds 19 and 20 on Osctober 26th.
RYDELL STRIPPED OF RACE 1 THIRD PLACE
The Stewards stripped Rickard Rydell of the third place he obtained in today's first race. The Swedish driver was given a 30 second time penalty because he cut the first chicane on the last lap after colliding with Nicola Larini's Chevrolet. Rydell slipped down from third to seventeenth. This decision promoted Andy Priaulx to third and Alessandro Zanardi to eighth and pole sitter on the top-eight reverse grid for the second race. The best BMW was Jorg Muller's in fourth (1:56.086) and the best Chevrolet was Robert Huff's in eighth (1:56.439).
WTCC Race of Italy - Autodromo di Monza
4 / 5 October 2008