Robert Huff will head into the World Touring Car Championship finale armed with a comfortable 23-point championship lead, courtesy of winning this afternoon’s closing race at Shanghai – a result helped by his team-mate and championship rival Yvan Muller copping a penalty for colliding with race leader Alain Menu.
The race started with Tom Coronel and Stefano D’Aste assuming a 1-2 run in their BMWs, while Menu had a great getaway from tenth to be running in third place by the end of the opening lap!
By the end of the second lap of the race, the Chevrolets were sitting in second, third and fourth as the RML squad set about taking its now-customary formation at the front of the field – Menu was leading ahead of Muller and Huff, who had a poor start.
Coronel would surrender his lead to Menu and Muller on the fourth lap, while Huff got by the Dutchman’s BMW on the following lap to make it a Chevrolet 1-2-3 once again.
Having failed to claim any points against his main rivals Menu and Huff in Race 1, Muller was desperate to make up for lost ground and keep his championship hopes alive.
On Lap 8, he went for it, trying a hopelessly late lunge on Menu as they approached Turn 1. It was a move that only succeeded in him punting his team-mate into the run-off, which allowed a delighted Huff into the lead and his fifth win of the 2012 season.
However, Menu’s tyres were badly flat-spotted as a result of the contact, and he was unable to keep Muller at bay on the next lap when the Frenchman tried a cleaner passing move at Turn 2.
The Chevrolets crossed the line in that order to complete a subdued podium – Huff excepted, of course – with Menu refusing to speak with Muller, and leaving his trophy on the podium in disgust.
Not surprisingly, Muller was hit with a post-race time penalty by the FIA Stewards, demoting him out of the points and promoting Menu into a consolation second, while Coronel was moved up into third place.
2012 FIA WTCC Race of China – Race 2 Final Classification (13 laps):
|1.||Robert Huff||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||25:17.714|
|2.||Alain Menu||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 2.698|
|3.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 4.378|
|4.||Stefano D’Aste||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||+ 4.866||Y|
|5.||Mehdi Bennani||Proteam Racing BMW 320TC||+ 5.574||Y|
|6.||Gabriele Tarquini||Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC||+ 20.406|
|7.||Colin Turkington||WSR Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 25.189|
|8.||Tom Boardman||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||+ 26.741||Y|
|9.||Alberto Cerqui||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 27.167||Y|
|10.||Tiago Monteiro||JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC||+ 27.342|
|11.||Aleksei Dudukalo||Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC||+ 28.113||Y|
|12.||Darryl O’Young||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 30.937||Y|
|13.||Yvan Muller*||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 31.195|
|14.||Fredy Barth||Swiss Racing SEAT León WTCC||+ 32.626||Y|
|15.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 35.170||Y|
|16.||Fernando Monje||SUNRED Engineering SEAT León WTCC||+ 35.249||Y|
|17.||Alex MacDowell||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 35.368||Y|
|18.||Hugo Valente||Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T||+ 41.675||Y|
|19.||Tom Chilton||Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC||+ 42.220|
|20.||Eric Kwong||Look Fong Racing Chevrolet Cruze LT||+ 1:15.910||Y|
|21.||Filipe de Souza||China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 1:21.126||Y|
|22.||Kin Veng Ng||China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti||+ 1:34.329||Y|
|23.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 1 lap||Y|
|24.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 1 lap||Y|
|25.||Alex Liu Lic Ka||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320si||+ 2 laps||Y|
|NF.||Kelvin Leong||Song Veng Honda Accord Euro R||7 laps||Y|
|NF.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||6 laps||Y|
|NF.||James Nash||Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC||0 laps|
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