Gabriele Tarquini kicked off his title defence by taking victory in Race 2 of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season, with the opening round held at Curitiba in Brazil.
SEAT took a comfortable quinella, with Tarquini’s team-mate Jordi Gené finishing in second place.
With the top-eight places from Race 1 reversed to form the first four rows of the grid for Race 2, Gené started from the front row alongside Tom Coronel and made a clean getaway from the standing start to lead into Turn 1.
The Dutchman’s race would effectively finish, after contact with Robert Huff sent him off-track and into the pits for repairs.
Another driver to come to grief was Andy Priaulx, who was carved up by Tarquini on the run into the first corner, suffering a damaged steering arm as a result.
With two rivals seemingly out of the way, that meant Tarquini only had to leapfrog Augusto Farfus to slot in behind his team-mate. He duly passed the Brazilian, and then passed Gené into Turn 1 on the third lap to take the lead. Gené offered no resistance to the attack from his team-mate’s clinically executed move.
Against expectations, the two SEATs kept clear of the chasnig pack, and even began pulling a gap to the scrapping Chevrolets of Huff, Alain Menu and Yvan Muller, and Farfus’ BMW.
Huff ran wide and allowed both Menu and Muller through, and the spent the remainder of his race fending off Farfus. Menu was able to keep Muller ay bay to take back-to-back podium finishes.
Tiago Monteiro, Michel Nykjær, Norbert Michelisz and Sergio Hernández completed the top ten. Nykjær finished as the best overall rookie, and Hernández was the top Independent Trophy driver.
Race 2 Final Classification:
|1.||Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||14||20:13.311|
|2.||Jordi Gené||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||14||+ 1.276|
|3.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||14||+ 5.407|
|4.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||14||+ 5.985|
|5.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||14||+ 8.295|
|6.||Augusto Farfus||RBM Team BMW 320si||14||+ 8.596|
|7.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||14||+ 10.419|
|8.||Michel Nykjær||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||14||+ 11.808|
|9.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Denison SEAT León TDI||14||+ 17.576|
|10.||Sergio Hernández (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||14||+ 24.244|
|11.||Franz Engstler (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||14||+ 24.643|
|12.||Mehdi Bennani (I)||Wiechers Sport BMW 320si||14||+ 30.072|
|13.||Harry Vaulkhard (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||14||+ 30.923|
|14.||Fredy Barth||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||14||+ 39.780|
|15.||Stefan D’Aste (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||14||+ 40.328|
|16.||Darryl O’Young (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||14||+ 40.481|
|Tom Coronel||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||2||Damage|
|Andy Priaulx||RBM Team BMW 320si||1||Accident|
|DNS||Andrey Romanov (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si|
(I) – denotes Independent Trophy driver
[Image via FIA WTCC website]