Photo: WTCC media

Andy Priaulx slides to victory in wet Pau

Andy Priaulx has won the second of today’s races of the World Touring Car Championship round in Pau, France. On a very wet track the British driver started from pole and never lost the lead, despite being under continious threat from Nicola Larini (Chevrolet) and Rickard Rydell (SEAT).

Due to the rain that started to fall just before the start of the race, the drivers started the race from behind the safety car. After three laps the field was unleashed, and all drivers managed to survive the first laps.

During the second race of today there was more overtaking than in the first race. On lap five Augusto Farfus overtook Jordi Géne for sixth, as Alain Menu took eight from Jörg Müller on the same lap. A lap later Yvan Muller managed to pass Jordi Géne as well, and the Spaniard had to pit on lap 7 with tire problems.

Ibrahim Okyay missed the corner at the start of lap 7 and had to use the escape road in the first corner. A little further up the field Franz Engstler clashed with Independent winner of race 1, Laurent Cazenave.

On lap 12 several people missed the first corner. Cazenave went straight on, just as Sergio Hernández, who was leading in the Independents category. His error lost him that lead to his teammate Stefano D’Aste. In the mean time, Alain Menu crashed at the chicane into the tires and had to retire from the race.

A enthousiastic overtaking manouvre from Alessandro Zanardi on Jörg Müller on lap 14 forced the Italian to run wide. Two laps later Jörg Müller ran wide at the same spot as well, and he lost a place to Tom Coronel. Eventhough he regained this place two corners later, on lap 17 the German ran wide at the same corner again and now lost two places. On lap 20 Müller lost another place to teammate Porteiro.

In the latter stages of the race the top three drivers was still within reaching distance from eachother. Nicola Larini slid wide on lap 20 and got severe pressure from Rickard Rydell in third. However, the Swede was unable to overtake on the twisty streets of Pau. The pair were not able to put Priaulx under pressure anymore either, allowing the Briton to take his first win of the season.