Silverstone: Race one, two notes

ALFA ROMEO AND SEAT WIN ONE A PIECE Alfa Romeo drivers dominated the first race, while SEAT claimed a brilliant 1-2 finish in the second, on the FIA WTCC third race meeting in Silverstone. On a sunny day a good crowd gathered on the...

ALFA ROMEO AND SEAT WIN ONE A PIECE

Alfa Romeo drivers dominated the first race, while SEAT claimed a brilliant 1-2 finish in the second, on the FIA WTCC third race meeting in Silverstone.

On a sunny day a good crowd gathered on the grandstands to watch two breathtaking races. Gabriele Tarquini scored a lights to flag win in Race 1, leading home an Alfa Romeo quartet. Behind him a tough fight for second position involved Andy Priaulx, James Thompson and Fabrizio Giovanardi, with a number of overtaking and paint swapping.

After a super start, Priaulx led most of the second race, until a pucture stopped him. This opened the door for SEAT's first success in the FIA WTCC, which was also the first one for a Spanish car Manufacturer in a World Championship. Rickard Rydell and newcomer Jason Plato were classified first and second, with Tarquini third.

Dirk Muller managed to claim 3 points in the second race, which enabled him to maintain the championship lead with a 2-point margin ahead of Tarquini, while Jorg Muller and Priaulx are 5 points behind. However, Dirk will be under special surveillance for the rest of the season. Because he rejoined Saturday's qualifying session despite having received external aid, and considering he had already received a suspended penalty due to a racing accident in Monza, the Stewards decided to impose a 5-point deduction from his championship points. This penalty will only be applied if he incurs any other sanctions before the end of the season.

Tarquini also has a pending penalty because of his collision with Terting in Race 2. As well as definitely losing ten positions on the grid of the next race, if he is involved in a similar incident during one of the two following events, he will also be excluded from that race. Alfa Romeo Racing Team appealed against this decision.

The FIA WTCC will now head to Imola for Rounds 7 and 8 on 29th of May.

RACE 1 TARQUINI LEADS ALFA ROMEO QUARTET

Alfa Romeo had a perfect result in round 5 of the FIA WTCC at Silverstone. All four of the team's drivers finished ahead of the rest of the field resulting in an all-red podium. Gabriele Tarquini, got a good start from the pole and despite efforts from James Thompson, did not give away his lead. Thompson and Fabrizio Giovanardi battled for second position. After a poor start, Thompson, who had the heaviest of the Alfa cars, lost a place to Giovanardi but on lap 4 he made reclaimed it. Augusto Farfus completed the Alfa Romeo quartet finishing fourth.

Andy Priaulx had a fantastic start, pushing his BMW 320i through to second place but was subsequently overtaken by the Alfa cars. He crossed the finishing line in fifth place, 4.386 seconds behind the leader of the Alfa pack.

SEAT drivers claimed the remaining positions in the points: Peter Terting finished 6th; his team-mates Rickard Rydell and Jason Plato had a very physical battle, finishing 7th and 8th respectively, with the Briton claiming pole on the reverse grid for Race 2.

On the penultimate lap, Alex Zanardi and Rob Huff made contact. Zanardi suffered the worst as he spun into the gravel and didn't re-join, whereas Huff managed to continue and was classified in 13th spot. The race for the other two Chevrolet drivers had an ended early as Alain Menu and Nicola Larini clashed whilst trying to avoid a wayward car during the first lap.

Ford scored their first Manufacturers' Championship point as Thomas Jager crossed the line 18th. The second Ford, driven by Thomas Klenke was 19th; an ecouraging result for the team.

The best of the independent competitors was Tom Coronel, finishing 14th overall in his SEAT Toledo Cupra, just ahead of his GR Asia team-mate Valle Makela.

RACE 2 RYDELL AND PLATO CLAIM 1-2 FOR SEAT

SEAT Sport had their first win of the FIA WTCC at Silverstone today. Rickard Rydell was the victor of a thrilling race with team-mate Jason Plato right behind him in 2nd. The SEAT cars did not have a great start as Andy Priaulx jumped them on the starting grid.

The reigning FIA European champion looked set to secure his first win of the season until he was forced out of the race following a puncture to his front right tyre with 3 laps to go, leaving Rydell to drive for the win. Of the remaining BMW cars, Dirk Muller was the best and classified 6th.

Alfa Romeo man Gabriele Tarquini had his second visit to the podium with a 3rd place. He, Terting and Thompson were involved in an incident on lap 4 which saw the latter forced into the gravel, where he remained. The Stewards put the blame on Tarquini, who will be dropped by ten places on the starting grid for the next round. Later Terting was involved in another collision, when Jorg Muller sent him into a spin to grab 7th position.

Larini and Zanardi did not take the start, due to the consequences of their Race 1 incidents. The Chevrolet team repaired Alain Menu's car just in time for him to begin the second race from the pit lane. It was an impressive performance as he worked his way through the field, and crossed the line in 13th place, setting lap times which were only one second off the top men's pace. Team-mate Huff collided with Garcia after the Spaniard spun during the first lap and neither driver could continue.

The Fords improved one position apiece from the early race, completing their most successful event so far. Jager finished 17th scoring a second point in the Manufacturers' Championship and Klenke 16th.

Marc Hennerici extended his lead in the Independents' Trophy even further. He and Coronel were fighting hard to gain maximum points from Race 2 but it was the Wiechers-Sport BMW that finished ahead in an excellent 9th place overall when Coronel's SEAT dramatically burst into flames at the end of the race due to engine an engine failure.

-fia-

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About this article
Series WTCC
Drivers Fabrizio Giovanardi , Andy Priaulx , Dirk Müller , Alex Zanardi , Tom Coronel , Jorg Muller , James Thompson , Thomas Jäger , Augusto Farfus , Jason Plato , Peter Terting , Valle Makela , Marc Hennerici , Rob Huff , Rickard Rydell , Gabriele Tarquini , Nicola Larini , Thomas Klenke , Alain Menu