Rob Huff heads to the finale in Macau with a 23 point lead in the Championship, as Chevrolet team-mates Yvan Muller and Alain Menu collide whilst leading the race.
Tom Coronel started from pole position and led the way into the first corner, whilst Stefano D’Aste had a great start in the Wiechers-Sport BMW driving up into second place.
Rob Huff was the top placed of the works Chevrolets on the grid, but dropped behind his two Chevrolet team-mates at the start, whilst Alain Menu made a great charge and was up into third place by the end of the first lap.
By the end of lap two, the three Chevrolets were up to second, third and fourth with Menu leading Muller and Huff, and were closing down on Tom Coronel’s BMW.
Menu and Muller passed Coronel on lap four, whilst Huff was able to get past at Turn 1 on the following lap to put the Chevrolets in all the podium positions.
It was on lap eight that disaster struck, whilst Menu was on target to bring himself right into the title fight with a pair of victories in China, Muller tried a late lunge at Turn 1, but ran into the back of Menu, which saw both cars go off circuit allowing Huff through into the lead.
Muller was now in second, but allowed Menu through into second as recompense for the contact, but was able to retake second place on the following lap through Turn 2 to minimise the damage in the points standings.
Huff went on to take his fifth win of the season, with Muller and Menu completing perhaps the unhappiest Chevrolet podium of the year, with Menu refusing to talk to Muller after they climbed out of the cars in parc ferme.
If Menu had finished ahead of Muller and Huff, the title would have been a close battle heading to Macau in two weeks’ time, with Huff leading Muller by 13 points and Menu by just 18. Now instead, Huff has a 23 point lead over Muller with Menu back to 38 points behind, exactly where he started the weekend, and with just 55 points available.
“I braked a fraction too late. I can just feel sorry about it, it was the last thing I wanted to have contact with one of my team-mates,” said a subdued Muller after the race.
“My feeling is it’s probably cost him the championship and mine as well,” remarked Menu, who walked away from the podium leaving his trophy behind.
Tom Coronel finished fourth with Stefano D’Aste taking a second independents’ win in fifth overall, and closes to 15 points from Michelisz going to Macau with 43 points available. Oriola is still second in the standings, 11 points behind Michelisz as both drivers failed to score in both of today’s races.
The season finale takes place in Macau in two weeks on November 18th.