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