Yvan Muller led a Chevrolet 1-2 on the WTCC’s first visit to the USA, leading home team-mate Rob Huff whilst Alain Menu retires with power steering failure.
At the start, Gabriele Tarquini pulled alongside pole-sitter Alain Menu and looked set to snatch the lead into Turn 2, but the Swiss driver fought aggressively for the position, with Tarquini sliding off track in the contact and down to fifth, with Menu holding on to the lead ahead of Chevrolet team-mates Muller and Huff.
Further behind at Turn 2 there was a multi-car incident involving the SUNRED SEAT of Fernando Monje, the STR SEAT of Darryl O’Young, Tom Chilton’s Ford and Alberto Cerqui’s BMW. All were able to rejoin the track, but Cerqui spent the rest of the race in the pitlane with damage to the rear of his BMW 320 TC.
James Nash was running a high of ninth early on in the Arena Ford Focus, but later lost ground and retired in the pits on lap 10. Tom Chilton was able to recover from the first lap incident and work his way up to 12th place by the end of the race.
On lap four, Alain Menu suddenly lost pace, allowing Yvan Muller and Rob Huff through into first and second, and the Swiss-driver headed into the pits to record his third DNF of the season with power steering failure.
This promoted Norbert Michelisz up into third in the Zengõ BMW, whilst Gabriele Tarquini had to fight off Alex MacDowall’s Bamboo Chevrolet in the early stages, though later in the race MacDowall himself had to fend off Tiago Monteiro’s SUNRED SR León for fifth.
Franz Engstler finished in seventh place in the Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW, with Tom Coronel finishing eighth after having started 20th on the grid, with Stefano D’Aste and Tom Boardman rounding out the points-paying positions.
Race two follows at 13:35 PST.