Front-row starters and fellow SEAT runners and Fredy Barth and Norbert Michelisz had short-lived stints at the front of the field. Barth made an appalling start from pole and had slumped to eighth by the first turn, leaving Michelisz out front.
But the Hungarian was to suffer his own maladies, when his León TDI slowed after leading for four laps, and he tumbled down the order before retiring disconsolately in pit lane.
Michelisz’s woes allowed Alain Menu into the lead, but his moment in the sun evaporated almost as quickly as it arrived, for he was passed just two corners later by Tarquini. The Swiss driver was unable to respond to the Italian’s attack, and he fell victim to passes by team-mates Yvan Muller and Robert Huff before the chequered flag fell.
With the Chevrolets scrapping over the remaining podium places, Tarquini was free to cruise to a comfortable victory while all the action happened behind him.
Having staged an impressive charge from the rear of the field, Huff snatched the final podium place from Menu with an audacious pass into Turn 5 on the final lap.
But the Briton’s celebrations would prove short-lived, as another panel-running session with August Farfus raised the Race Stewards’ tempers, and – having been reprimanded for the same behaviour in the opening race – they did not take kindly to a repeat of the same behaviour, duly slapping Huff with a 30-second time penalty that dropped him to 18th place overall.
The beneficiaries of the penalty were Menu, who claimed third ahead of the BMWs of Andy Priaulx and Farfus, who followed the Chevrolets home after passing Tom Coronel and Tiago Monteiro on the track.
Darryl O’Young took an impressive Independents’ Trophy victory in the elderly Lacetti, heading home Colin Turkington, who staged an impressive fight back after being bumped down the order after first-lap contact.
Race 10 Final Classification (11 laps):
|1.||Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||21:49.935|
|2.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 1.736|
|3.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 3.244|
|4.||Andy Priaulx||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 3.570|
|5.||Augusto Farfus||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 4.094|
|6.||Tom Coronel||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 6.201|
|7.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 6.513|
|8.||Fredy Barth||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||+ 10.207|
|9.||Darryl O’Young (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 12.751|
|10.||Colin Turkington (I)||eBay Motors BMW 320si||+ 13.609|
|11.||Harry Vaulkhard (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 14.857|
|12.||Mehdi Bennani (I)||Wiechers Sport BMW 320si||+ 18.100|
|13.||Stefan D’Aste (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 19.125|
|14.||Franz Engstler (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 21.271|
|15.||Robert Huff*||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 32.587|
|16.||Andrey Romanov (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 35.977|
|17.||Sergio Hernández (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 1 lap|
|Jordi Gené||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||9 laps|
|Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Dension SEAT León||5 laps|
|Michel Nykjær||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||3 laps|
|Kristian Poulsen (I)||Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si||1 lap|
* Denotes 30-second time penalty applied post-race by the stewards for causing an avoidable collision.
[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]