Huff won a dramatic Race 2

World Touring Car Championship points leader Robert Huff has snatched a sensational win in the second race around the streets of Porto after barging past team-mate Yvan Muller to take the lead.

Muller had taken the lead from Race 2 pole-sitter Stefano D’Aste on the third lap, but Huff quickly set about passing the BMW driver before closing down a 2.5-second gap in a handful of laps to be right on the tail of his French team-mate.

After a processional first race, this one seemed to make up for it in spades when fans were thrilled with the prospect of Huff trying to find a way by Muller. The Briton settled the matter with a bold lunge past Muller at one of the circuit’s umpteen chicanes. The pair touched heavily, and Huff was forced over the chicane run-off, skipping into the lead to take his sixth win of the season.

Huff tries a lunge around the outside of Muller He turns in on the Frenchman Muller is forced onto the kerbs and they touch Huff was sent over the chicane exit

A frustrated Muller was left to finish in second place, while Tiago Monteiro delighted his home crowd by completing the podium places, consolidating the fourth-placed finish he earned in the first race.

The Portuguese driver was handed the place when D’Aste – making his return to the championship with Wiechers-Sport as a replacement for the sacked Urs Sonderegger – was slapped with a drive-through penalty for starting outside is his grid slot.

D'Aste was penalised for a jumped start The drama wasn’t over for the Italian, who was hit from behind and sent through the bollards by Proteam BMW driver Mehdi Bennani, who holds a reputation for this style of driving. The stewards didn’t fall for that one, and Bennani was hit with a 30-second post-race penalty, while D’Aste was classified eleventh and out of the points. What could have been a fairytale BMW win went up in smoke once again…

Aside from the action up at the front, the rest of the race was fairly tame, with Norbert Michelisz claiming fourth and back-to-back wins in the Independents’ Trophy race, holding out Tom Coronel by 0.3 seconds at the chequered flag.

Alain Menu finished sixth, acknowledging that it was about the best he could have hoped for given his eighth-placed starting position was unlikely to yield him many overtaking opportunities on this narrows circuit.

The rest of the points’ places were completed by Gabriele Tarquini, Franz Engstler, Darryl O’Young and Fredy Barth.

Robert Dahlgren finished well down the order after bogging down off the line; the rest of the field was lucky not to collect his slowly-starting Volvo as the pack sprinted for the first corner.

Huff leads the Drivers’ Championship standings by 29 points over team-mate Muller, while Menu lies in third, 40 points adrift of Huff. After a zero-point round for Kristian Poulsen and back-to-back Trophy wins, Michelisz now heads the Independent Trophy standings by five points.


2011 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal Final Classification (Race 2 – 11 laps):

Driver Team Result
1. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 23:24.533
2. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 1.797
3. Tiago Monteiro POR SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred + 8.728
4. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ-Dension Team BMW 320TC BMW + 9.752
5. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 10.059
6. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 11.114
7. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil-SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred + 12.849
8. Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW + 19.477
9. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 24.147
10. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss Racing SR León 1.6T Sunred + 25.787
11. Stefano D’Aste ITA Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW + 30.250
12. Michel Nykjær DEN SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred + 34.399
13. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil-SUNRED SEAT León 2.0 TDI SEAT + 37.373
14. Pepe Oriola ESP SUNRED SR León 1.6T Sunred + 37.950
15. Yukinori Taniguchi JPN Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 38.735
16. Robert Dahlgren SWE Polestar Volvo C30 1.6T ‘Drive’ Volvo + 39.365
17. Javier Villa García ESP Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW + 41.084
18. Mehdi Bennani* MOR Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC BMW + 58.161
19. Kristian Poulsen DEN Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320TC BMW + 1:53.447
  Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 2:05.846

* Denotes 30-second time penalty applied post-race for causing an avoidable collision with Stefano D’Aste

[Original images via FIA WTCC Media]

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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.