Yvan Muller claimed a clean sweep of wins in the opening round of the World Touring Car Championship

Yvan Muller has claimed back-to-back wins in the season-opening round of the World Touring Car Championship, claiming victory in an entertaining and hard-fought race at Monza – the Frenchman recovered from a high-speed spin to lead a Chevrolet 1-2-3.

With the race’s standing start taking place with Norbert Michelisz on pole, the Hungarian did an excellent job to keep the chasing pack at bay for most of the race, despite the performance disadvantage he had with his BMW.

Eventually, however, the Hungarian was passed by Muller with a neat move at the Parabolica. Shortly after, Michelisz appeared to hit some debris, and faded to finish in eighth place.

But the action got going even before the race was underway, with SEAT losing a few key runners before the first lap had been completed. Aleksei Dudukalo was stricken with more engine and throttle woes, while Race 1’s Independent Trophy winner, Pepe Oriola, would start from the pit-lane in his Tuenti Racing SEAT.

On the second lap, the three Chevrolets were busy slipstreaming one another in their dispute over fifth place. Muller received the gentlest of taps from Huff, which was enough to completely destabilise the rear of his Cruze, sending him pirouetting onto the grass with a wild spin.

Muller is nudged into a spin Muller spins; Tarquini crashes out in sympathy

He quickly rejoined as Huff took to the escape road in avoidance, but Gabriele Tarquini crashed out in sympathy and his race was over.

Having regained his composure, Muller set about working his way through the field and eventually chasing down Michelisz for the lead, hotly pursued by his RML team-mates and Tom Coronel in the ROAL Motorsports BMW, who tucked himself into the all-blue slipstream to finish fourth.

Fifth place and an emotional Independent Trophy win went to hometown driver Stefano D’Aste, who pipped Franz Engstler to the position by just 0.6 seconds; the pair was closely followed by WTCC debutant Alex MacDowell in the Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet.

 


2012 FIA WTCC Race of Italy – Race 2 Final Classification (10 laps):

Driver Team Result YIT
1. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 20:07.643  
2. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 0.307  
3. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 0.613  
4. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 0.993  
5. Stefano D’Aste ITA Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW + 6.125 Y
6. Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW + 6.705 Y
7. Alex MacDowell GBR Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 7.247 Y
8. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 10.238 Y
9. Alberto Cerqui ITA ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 12.663 Y
10. Rickard Rydell SWE Chevrolet Sweden Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 14.066  
11. Gábor Wéber HUN Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 14.202 Y
12. Pepe Oriola ESP Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León 1.6T SEAT + 14.575 Y
13. James Nash GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford + 18.279 Y
14. Mehdi Bennani MOR Proteam Racing BMW 320TC BMW + 18.775 Y
15. Andrea Barlesi BEL SUNRED Engineering SEAT León TDi SEAT + 24.880 Y
16. Tom Chilton GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford + 25.586  
17. Isaac Tutumlu ESP Proteam Racing BMW 320TC BMW + 35.129 Y
18. Tiago Monteiro POR Tuenti Racing SEAT León TDi SEAT + 1 lap  
19. Pasquale di Sabatino ITA Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 2 laps Y
  NOT CLASSIFIED    
DNF. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil Racing SEAT León 1.6T SEAT 1 lap  
DNF. Charles Ka-Ki Ng HKG Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1 lap Y
DNF. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil Racing SEAT León 1.6T SEAT 0 laps Y
DNS. Darryl O’Young HKG Special Tune Racing SEAT León 1.6T SEAT   Y
  FASTEST RACE LAPS    
  Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 1:59.000  
  Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW 1:59.608 Y

 


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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.
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