Yvan Muller and Chevrolet’s seemingly dominant defence of the World Touring Car Championship titles continued in the second race at Morocco, with the Frenchman defying perceptions that the Marrakech street circuit was a tough track on which to overtake.
The three-time champion took victory after starting from seventh, beating home team-mates Robert Huff and Race 1 winner Alain Menu.
With the starting order for race 2 being determined by reversing the top-ten qualifiers, it was James Nash who lead Ford’s first-ever front-row start. The Arena Motorsport driver led off the line and kept the chasing pack at bay for the first half of the race before the quicker drivers began to pick their way to the front.
Muller was the prime example, and by the fourth lap he’d already made it into the top-three. He picked off Engstler with a little bit of nudging into the chicane, and then used his Cruze’s superior straight-line speed to just blast by Nash and claim the lead down the straight.
Huff and Menu quickly followed suit and eased their way past Nash, who then had to try and fend off the advances of a trio of BMWs: Tom Coronel, Stefano D’Aste and Franz Engstler.
Ultimately, Coronel and D’Aste both made their way by and waged their own closely-fought battle for fourth place. Neither was prepared to give an inch and both were great fun to watch as they threw their 320TCs over the circuit’s kerbs – Coronel at one point came within a coat of paint from sticking his car into the wall.
Nash hung on to sixth place to better team-mate Tom Chilton’s fine seventh in Race 1, while and Independent Trophy leader Pepe Oriola finished behind, with Engstler completing the top-eight places. Tiago Monteiro and Darryl O’Young rounded out the top ten.
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Morocco – Race 1 Final Classification (12 laps):