Fernando Monje comfortably won the first race of the 2012 European Touring Car Cup at Monza, whilst his closest rival Petr Fulín ignored a drive through penalty and black flags.
Monje started from pole position ahead of Fulín for the race’s rolling start, which was aborted on the first try because the cars on the even side of the grid didn’t drive down their grid markers on the track, with Fulín far too close to the middle of the circuit.
The start was waved off but the same happened on the second attempt, with the officials deciding to throw the flag anyway on the third try and give Fulín a drive through penalty.
Monje pulled away quickly in the SEAT TDI with Fulín falling back in second, with Stian Paulsen falling behind Andreas Pfister’s SEAT Supercopa at the start who’d moved up to third.
On lap four, Urs Sonderegger in the third of the three Supercopas slid off the track at the first Lesmo whilst fighting with Christian Fischer’s Rikli Motorsport Honda.
Fischer was involved in most of the trouble in the race, then hit by Igor Skuz in the Engstler BMW on lap six which saw Skuz dip into the pits for repairs.
Fischer was also hit by Aytac Biter in the Borusan Otomotiv BMW on the final lap, which saw them both fall behind Sonderegger’s SEAT.
Pfister held off Paulsen for several laps until eventually the German locked up at Turn 1 and was forced to give the position to the Norwegian, which wound up as second place.
Kevin Krammes in the Team Ravenol GENA Ford Fiesta held onto the lead in S1600 to win by 1.5 seconds from Ulrike Kraffti’s Team Ravenol SAN Fiesta to take the first S1600 win of the year.
Aleksander Tosic also won in the Super Production class starting from the class pole ahead of Nikolay Karamayshev by 18 seconds.
Fulín, who ignored his drive through penalty was served the black flag on lap eight, which he still ignored, not pitting until the final lap, crossing the timing beam in the pits to be counted as second, 16 seconds behind Monje.
The second race will see the top eight reversed and Fischer’s Honda start from pole position, and starts at 15:50 CET.