Michel Nykjær’s 8th-placed finish in the first race of the weekend saw the Dane start from the reverse-grid pole position for the second 9-lap race, and he looked set to cruise to a comfortable victory, especially when defending World Champion Gabriele Tarquini capped off a nightmare weekend by jumping the start.
The former F1 driver – whose slip-up in qualifying cost him pole position for the opening race, and the win in it being denied by a final-lap puncture – was seen creeping on the grid before the lights went out, and he was forced to serve a drive-through penalty. He would retire at the end of the following lap.
Nykjær, who had also been stricken with a first-race puncture led comfortably on the final lap but slowed as he went through the Curva Grande, pulling off the track at the second chicane with yet another deflated Yokohama tyre.
This gifted Yvan Muller’s Chevrolet a last-lap lead, ahead of Tom Coronel and Robert Huff, who would complete the podium. The BMWs of Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx completed the top-five standings.
An enjoyable battle between the recovering SEAT of Jordi Gené, Tiago Monteiro and Norbert Michelisz rounded out positions six to eight, with the Chevrolets of Alain Menu and Leonel Pernía completing the remaining points-paying positions.
Stefano D’Aste salvaged some pride for his homeland by winning the Independents’ Trophy race, with Darryl O’Young and Harry Vaulkhard completing the rostrum.
Race 6 Final Classification (9 laps):
|1.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||18:29.805|
|2.||Tom Coronel||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 0.512|
|3.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 0.822|
|4.||Augusto Farfus||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 1.001|
|5.||Andy Priaulx||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 1.742|
|6.||Jordi Gené||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 3.495|
|7.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 4.197|
|8.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI||+ 4.580|
|9.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 5.099|
|10.||Leonel Pernía||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 9.918|
|11.||Stefan D’Aste (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 11.856|
|12.||Darryl O’Young (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 13.499|
|13.||Harry Vaulkhard (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 14.368|
|14.||Fredy Barth||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||+ 14.506|
|15.||Kristian Poulsen (I)||Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si||+ 14.836|
|16.||Sergio Hernández (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 15.266|
|17.||Mehdi Bennani (I)||Wiechers Sport BMW 320si||+ 33.557|
|18.||Fabio Fabiani||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 49.454|
|Michel Nykjær||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||8 laps|
|Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||6 laps|
|Andrey Romanov (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||2 laps|
|DNS||Franz Engstler (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si|
[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]