SEAT driver Jordi Gené has won the opening race of the World Touring Car Zolder Race 1 StartChampionship round at Belgium’s Zolder circuit – we at least he did, on the road…

The Spaniard was later disqualified from first WTCC win since 2008 when it was found in post-race scrutineering that his air restrictor didn’t conform to the technical regulations, and this occurred after he had already been reprimanded by the stewards for lining up out of position for the rolling start, when he crossed the timing beam before pole-sitter Gabriele Tarquini.

This little advantage was enough to see Gené assume the lead of the race, which he didn’t relinquish over its 13-lap distance.

Tarquini briefly fell to third behind the Chevrolet of Yvan Muller on the opening lap, but redressed the position shortly afterwards and cruised to a second-placed finish, which would later become a race victory when his SR Sport team-mate was disqualified.

Muller fell behind and into the clutches of his RML team-mate Alain Menu, but the Swiss driver was unable to find a way past and lead a train of rivals comprising Tiago Monteiro, Robert Huff and Norbert Michelisz.

Andy Priaulx managed to pass the SEAT of Tom Coronel to take eighth as the SEAT driver ran momentarily off the circuit exiting the Bolderberghaarspeldbocht hairpin, and the Dutchman was left to fend off the other BMW of Augusto Farfus in the closing laps. Coronel’s ninth place would become an eighth-placed result with Gené’s disqualification, meaning he will start from pole position for the second race later today.

Race 7 Final Classification (13 laps):

  Driver   Team Result
DQ. Jordi Gené SR Sport SEAT León TDI 21:51.561
1. Gabriele Tarquini SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 2.648
2. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 5.277
3. Alain Menu RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 5.704
4. Tiago Monteiro SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 6.207
5. Robert Huff RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 6.514
6. Norbert Michelisz Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI + 6.840
7. Andy Priaulx RBM Team BMW 320si + 7.475
8. Tom Coronel SR Sport SEAT León TDI + 11.943
9. Augusto Farfus RBM Team BMW 320si + 12.101
10. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT León TDI + 12.303
11. Kristian Poulsen (I) Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si + 16.021
12. Pierre-Yves Corthals (I)   Exagon SEAT León TFSI + 18.048
13. Sergio Hernández (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 20.259
14. Mehdi Bennani (I) Wiechers Sport BMW 320si + 20.888
15. Harry Vaulkhard (I) Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 22.071
16. Stefan D’Aste (I) Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si + 23.139
17. Vincent Radermecker RML Chevrolet Cruze LT + 23.525
18. Michel Nykjær SUNRED SEAT León TDI + 29.137
19. Andrey Romanov (I) Team Engstler BMW 320si + 56.690
20. Darryl O’Young (I) Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti + 1 lap
  Not Classified      
DNS Franz Engstler (I) Team Engstler BMW 320si 8 laps

[Original images via FIA WTCC official website]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.