Rob Huff has won the 2012 World Touring Car Championship after finishing second in an incident packed second race at Macau. Alain Menu won the final race for Chevrolet in the WTCC, with Yvan Muller completing the podium in third.
After failing to finish in the first race, Huff lined up on the grid for race two in ninth place, up one spot thanks to Mehdi Bennani having to give up his grid spot after having to have his car repaired outside of parc ferme.
At the start, Norbert Michelisz took the lead in his BMW 320 TC, slicing through Alex MacDowall’s Chevrolet and Pepe Oriola’s SEAT, whilst Menu had a great launch from seventh, and was up to fourth by Lisboa.
On the second lap, Alex MacDowall was able to slipstream back past Michelisz for the lead, whilst Menu continued to pick his way up the order, the Swiss driver still in contention for the drivers’ title. Menu passed Oriola and then Michelisz, and then overtook MacDowall for the lead on lap three as the independent Chevrolet driver dropped three spots behind Michelisz and Oriola.
On lap four, fifth placed Yvan Muller ran into the back of Alex MacDowall’s Chevrolet coming out of Mandarin, which spun the British driver into the wall hard. Huff was able to pass around the left side of Muller after the incident, which saw the safety car brought out for four laps as the damage was cleared away, as was Mehdi Bennani’s car which had stopped in a separate incident.
The race was restarted on lap nine, but lasted just a few corners as the two drivers involved in the independents’ battle came together at Lisboa, with Pepe Oriola spinning rival Norbert Michelisz into the tyre barrier. Both retired and the safety car was called again, with the race unable to be restarted before the 11 laps were completed.
This paved the way for Menu to lead a final Chevrolet 1-2-3 as the US manufacturer bows out of the championship.
Rob Huff wins the drivers’ title and becomes the fourth driver to do so in the modern WTCC era. Huff finishes 12 points ahead of Alain Menu, with Yvan Muller finishing third, 20 points down.
With all three independents’ championship contenders failing to finish, Norbert Michelisz wins the title for the first time for Zengõ Motorsport.