Rob Huff won the first race at the Salzburgring for Chevrolet ahead of team-mate Yvan Muller in a race long battle, with the reigning champion at one point getting his nose ahead.
In the hot conditions at the Salzburgring, Rob Huff led the way at the start closely followed by his two team-mates, who began to pull away from the pack behind.
Tiago Monteiro was able to jump ahead of Alex MacDowall’s Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet at the start, whilst the other Bamboo Chevrolet of Pasquale Di Sabatino in 16th pulled to the left before the lights went out and was given a drive through penalty for a false start.
On lap three, Huff locked up into Turn 1 and had to cut the chicane, and by the end of the lap he had Yvan Muller right on his tail, both going side-by-side into the long 180 degree Turn 9, but Huff came out ahead.
On lap five, the safety car was brought out after Darryl O’Young, already in a battered SEAT after making contact with Stefano D’Aste’s Wiechers-Sport BMW at Turn 1, was involved in contact with Charles Ng’s Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW at Turn 5 and was trapped in the gravel.
After three laps behind the safety car the race was restarted, with Muller again challenging Huff for the lead with Menu in third right in the battle.
Muller tried to pass Huff around the outside again at Turn 9, with the nose of his Chevrolet Cruze actually ahead of Huff’s, with the three Chevrolets spanning the track into the next corner, but Huff was able to maintain the lead.
There was more late race drama too as Lukoil SEAT’s Aleksei Dudukalo and Proteam’s Mehdi Bennani clashed at Turn 1, with Dudukalo ending up trapped in the gravel and Bennani dropping to the back of the field and finished 17th. This promoted Tom Coronel to eighth, with Michelisz finishing ninth and James Nash scoring a point for Ford with tenth.
Rob Huff went on to take his second win of the season, and retook second place in the drivers’ standings from Menu, closing the gap to Muller to 22 points.
Alex MacDowall finished in sixth and claims his first independents’ class victory of the season, finishing ahead of independents’ points leader Pepe Oriola.
The Lukoil Racing Team will have to try and repair Dudukalo’s car within the short 15 minute repair time or else sacrifice their pole position for race two, which starts at 14:35 CET.