Andy Priaulx took his sixth win of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship season – more wins than he achieved in each of his three previous championship-winning seasons – taking a comfortable BMW 1-2 on home turf in the second race at the Oschersleben circuit.
Muller was himself able to perform an exercise in damage limitation by finishing third after starting from sixth on the grid, and his cause was certainly helped by Tiago Monteiro.
Chasing his SEAT team-mates Norbert Michelisz and Michel Nykjær, the former F1 driver conspired to nerf Nykjær out of third place, for which he was awarded a drive-through penalty.
Almost as if to prove to the Stewards that the penalty was completely warranted, he managed to have Michelisz run off the circuit as well while trying to pinch second place – he then pitted to serve his penalty. Monteiro would be hit with a 30-second time penalty post-race for this incident as well.
The antics of Monteiro proved of benefit to Augusto Farfus and Muller, both of whom climbed up the order to complete the podium.
Nykjær and Tom Coronel finished a distant fourth and fifth for SEAT, who lose their second place in the Constructors’ Championship standings to the resurgent BMW squad. Independent Trophy driver Kristian Poulsen had his most impressive result of the season, taking a fine sixth by keeping his head as the others around him lost theirs.
But for Michelisz, there was more action to come and he became embroiled in a fierce scrap for the final point on ffer later in the race. He had rejoined the circuit in eighth place after Monteiro’s rough driving, and was fending off Gabriele Tarquini, Robert Huff and Jordi Gené, who were all staging recovery drivers after starting well down the grid.
Arriving three abreast into Turn 1, Huff dived inside Tarquini to steal the place off the Italian. A few laps later, he touched Michelisz and passed him, which allowed Tarquini to draw alongside the Hungarian and ease him off the road in his attempt to get by. Michelisz finished 11th behind Gené.
The Oschersleben race stewards took a particularly dim view of the rather desperate driving that seemed to be doing the rounds this weekend, as another brace of penalties handed out to members of the 21-car field. Russian driver Andrei Romanov was hit with a 30-second time penalty – dropping him for 14th to 17th for hitting Yukinori Tanuguchi’s Chevrolet – and a suspended 10-place grid penalty, while Monteiro and Huff were issued with 10-place grid penalties that will remain suspended for two races for their separate incidents with Michelisz.
WTCC Oschersleben Race 2 Final Classification (14 laps):
* Denotes 30-second time penalty applied post-race for colliding with Yukinori Taniguchi.
** Denotes a 30-second time penalty applied post-race for colliding with Norbert Michelisz.
[Original image via FIA WTCC official site]