Yvan Muller has taken his seventh win of the season in the first race at Curitiba and extends his Championship lead to 30 points over Rob Huff. Muller led an all Chevrolet top three with Alain Menu and Rob Huff completing the top three.
The first start was aborted as a number of cars down the order didn’t follow the starting procedure, where on the rolling start the cars are required to drive through the grid boxes.
On the second attempt, although it wasn’t much better, the green flag was waved, with Gabriele Tarquini quick to pounce from fifth on the grid, passing Michel Nykjaer’s Bamboo Chevrolet for fourth whilst the three works Chevrolets held station up front.
The two SUNRED SEAT Leóns of Pepe Oriola and Fernando Monje were forced to cut the first corner as the pack bunched up into the corner, and were able to make up a number of positions as a result.
Tiago Monteiro became the only retirement from the race after contact with Alberto Cerqui’s BMW further on the lap. His SR León was stranded on the outside of the circuit with broken front-left suspension whilst Cerqui pitted for repairs in his ROAL Motorsport BMW.
Pepe Oriola caught and passed independents’ rival Norbert Michelisz’s Zengõ Motorsport BMW on lap four for ninth place, but as the Spaniard’s tyres lost grip later in the race, Michelisz was able to re-pass Oriola.
Further down the order, STR driver Tom Boardman passed Mehdi Bennani’s Proteam BMW for 13th place on lap five. Five laps later, Bennani tried to get back ahead of Boardman but the two made contact, with Bennani forced off the track.
Boardman was quickly given a drive-through penalty by the stewards which dropped him to 19th place. Franz Engstler was promoted to 13th as a result in the Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW but was soon spun by Stefano D’Aste’s Wiechers-Sport BMW, which saw Bennani returned to 13th position. The incident between D’Aste and Engstler incident is being investigated by the stewards.
Yvan Muller won the race by four-tenths of a second from Alain Menu with Rob Huff third.
Michel Nykjaer won in the independents’ class on his WTCC return with fifth place ahead of Bamboo team-mate Alex MacDowall.
Yvan Muller has now extended his lead in the Championship to 30 points over Rob Huff going into the second race of the day where Norbert Michelisz will start from pole position.