Pepe Oriola and Norbert Michelisz took a win apiece on Sunday in Portugal, and have begun to build a gap in the Yokohama Independents’ Trophy to the rest of the competitors.
Michelisz qualified in third overall for the first race, but lost a spot to Rob Huff at the start and finished in fourth place, but with the independents’ pole, class win and fastest lap, took a maximum possible score in the first race.
Oriola, starting on pole position in race two, was unable to stay ahead of Alain Menu’s Chevrolet, but won a race long battle with the BMW 320 TC of Tom Coronel to claim second place, his first overall podium and his fifth win in the independents’ trophy this season.
“I think that today is the best day of my life,” said Oriola. “I have to say thanks to SEAT, to Tuenti my sponsors, my father…also to win the Yokohama today, it can’t be better.”
“The last laps I slowed down, as I was second in Slovakia and had a puncture.”
Pepe Oriola scored six points in race one after finishing third in the independents’ class, and 10 in race two for the win, whilst Michelisz’s win, fastest lap and pole picked him up 12 in race one and a further four in race two for finishing fifth, meaning the two scored the same total at Portugal.
“My target was to score as many points overall as possible and to win the Yokohama trophy,” said Michelisz. “I was a little bit surprised (in race one) as I was expecting my car, especially in the second half of the race, to be more competitive. I was pushing very hard but I couldn’t catch the guys in front.”
Pepe Oriola continues to lead the standings by 10 points over Norbert Michelisz, with Stefano D’Aste now 33 points behind in third.
ROAL Motorsport also lead the independent teams’ trophy by 10 points over SUNRED, where both Tom Coronel and Tiago Monteiro are able to score points for the team though not in the drivers’ trophy.
Oriola’s results at the weekend also move him up to sixth in the drivers’ standings ahead of Norbert Michelisz, 27 points behind fellow SEAT driver Gabriele Tarquini.
2012 WTCC Independents’ Standings after Portugal