The Chevrolet driver led a team 1-2 with team-mate Yvan Muller finishing in second place, with the result securing Chevrolet its first ever Manufacturers’ Championship crown in the WTCC.
Huff made a clean getaway from pole position at the rolling race start, but behind him, chaos immediately reigned supreme courtesy of multi-car collision at the first corner between Andy Priaulx, André Couto and Michel Nykjær, which brought out the Safety Car.
Alain Menu also had a moment under braking for Lisboa, nudging the barriers and losing several positions before he could rejoin.
The multi-car accident took four laps to clear before racing could resume once again, and Huff immediately began to pull away once again.
Under braking for the Lisboa right-hander, Tom Coronel biffed his SEAT into the back of Darryl O’Young’s Chevrolet Lacetti, which pushed the Independent Trophy challenger into a spin and straight into the path of Fredy Barth’s SEAT. Both were out on the spot, seriously damaging O’Young’s championship hopes and rightfully earning Coronel a drive-through penalty for his troubles.
Meanwhile, at the front, Huff continued along his merry way, pulling out a two-second gap to Muller, who had the SEAT of Tiago Monteiro shadowing his every move but unable to find a way past.
Behind them, there was an exciting battle for fourth place between Augusto Farfus and Gabriele Tarquini. Tarquini would eventually get the better of Farfus – who was struggling with tyre wear – on lap eight, and Farfus would lose another position to Norbert Michelisz on the following lap.
Menu recovered well to finish seventh after his opening-lap error, while Kristian Poulsen continued his fine end-of-season form to finish eight and take outright victory in the Independent Trophy class. Barring any mechanical misadventures, the Dane will start from pole position for the afternoon’s reverse-grid race, and put himself in prime position to mount a last-race challenge for the Independent Trophy championship, with current title leader Sergio Hernández (eleventh overall) only finishing fourth in class.
WTCC Macau Race 1 Final Classification (11 laps):
|1.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||35:34.840||1|
|2.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 0.366||2|
|3.||Tiago Monteiro||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 0.631||4|
|4.||Gabriele Tarquini||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 0.909||6|
|5.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengö-Dension SEAT León TDI||+ 1.306||7^|
|6.||Augusto Farfus||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 1.967||5|
|7.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 2.564||3|
|8.||Kristian Poulsen (I)||Poulsen Motorsport BMW 320si||+ 2.823||21|
|9.||Franz Engstler (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 3.503||16|
|10.||Mehdi Bennani (I)||Wiechers Sport BMW 320si||+ 3.998||22^|
|11.||Sergio Hernández (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 4.614||14|
|12.||Tom Coronel||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||+ 4.770||13|
|13.||Yukinori Taniguchi (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 8.465||20|
|14.||César Campaniço (I)||Novadriver Total BMW 320si||+ 8.961||18|
|15.||Andrei Romanov (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 9.439||25*|
|16.||Nobuteru Taniguchi (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 13.059||17|
|17.||Kevin Chen (I)||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320si||+ 24.421||23^|
|18.||Philip Ma (I)||Jacob & Co Honda Accord Euro||+ 26.043||26*|
|19.||Joseph Merszei (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 27.592||24*|
|20.||Masaki Kano (I)||Team Engstler BMW 320si||+ 1 lap||27*|
|21.||Henry Ho (I)||Ho Chun Kei BMW 320si||+ 3 laps||19|
|NC||Andy Priaulx||RBM Team BMW 320si||+ 4 laps||8|
|NF||Darryl O’Young (I)||Bamboo Chevrolet Lacetti||4 laps||9|
|NF||Fredy Barth||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||4 laps||11|
|NF||Colin Turkington||AVIVA-COFCO WSR BMW 320si||4 laps||15|
|NF||André Couto||SR Sport SEAT León TDI||0 laps||10|
|NF||Michel Nykjær||SUNRED SEAT León TDI||0 laps||12|
* Qualified outside 107% of Q1 pole position time; Race Stewards granted permission to compete in the race
^ Five-place grid penalty awarded by Race Stewards
[Original images via FIA WTCC official site]
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