Alain Menu has won the final race for the works Chevrolet team

Rob Huff has claimed his maiden FIA World Touring Car Championship title by finishing in second place in an incident-filled final race of the season at Macau.

His team-mate Alain Menu claimed victory, with outgoing champion Yvan Muller claiming third to perfectly cap off Chevrolet’s final works-supported season in the championship series.

After failing to wrap up the championship in today’s earlier race, Huff lined up for the final race from ninth place on the partially-reversed grid order, having gained a place after Mehdi Bennani was sent to the back of the grid for having his BMW repaired outside of the declared parc ferme conditions.

The race lead immediately went to Independent Trophy frontrunner Norbert Michelisz, who got off the grid perfectly in his BMW to vault ahead of front-row starters Alex MacDowall and Pepe Oriola, while Menu rocketed up to fourth place with his own lightning quick getaway.

Micheliz rockets away into an early lead

MacDowall quickly slipstreamed by Michelisz for the lead, and Menu was up to second place after easing by the Hungarian and Oriola in the opening two laps. He got by MacDowall on the third lap of the race, who himself dropped behind the duelling Michelisz and Oriola, who were waging their own private battle for Independent Trophy title honours.

MacDowall’s race came to a sudden end on the fourth lap after fifth-placed Muller nudged his fellow Chevrolet runner into a spin as they exited Mandarin.

The hapless MacDowall was sent straight into the barriers and immediate retirement, while Muller – who was overtaken by Huff in the melee – somehow managed to escape a thoroughly-deserved penalty from the FIA Stewards, who inexplicably felt no need to send the Frenchman on a tour of the pit lane.

MacDowall’s stricken car triggered the Safety Car, and the field was contained for four laps while the Brit’s car was moved out of harm’s way. Mehdi Bennani’s BMW had also retired at the same time, albeit in a different part of the circuit.

The racing resumed on the ninth lap of the race, but green flag conditions would only last a few seconds before a full-course caution was called again, this time when Michelisz and Oriola brought the Independent Trophy campaign to a close by colliding at Lisboa.

An ecstatic Huff celebrates winning the 2012 championshipBoth were out on the spot, and with the pair – along with fellow rival Stefano D’Aste – having failed to score any points this weekend, Michelisz was the championship winner.

The race was unable to be restarted before the end of the allotted eleven laps, leaving Menu to lead a Chevrolet 1-2-3, while an ecstatic Huff took a long-awaited and very popular title by just 12 points over Menu.

 


2012 FIA WTCC Guia Race of Macau – Race 2 Final Classification (11 laps):

Driver Team Result YIT
1. Alain Menu SUI RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 35:36.096  
2. Robert Huff GBR RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 0.320  
3. Yvan Muller FRA RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 0.889  
4. Tiago Monteiro POR JAS Honda Civic S2000 TC Honda + 9.015  
5. Darryl O’Young HKG Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet + 9.786 Y
6. Franz Engstler DEU Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW + 10.127 Y
7. Aleksei Dudukalo RUS Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 11.024 Y
8. Fredy Barth SUI Swiss Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 11.399 Y
9. Tom Boardman GBR Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 11.582 Y
10. Fernando Monje ESP SUNRED Engineering SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 11.900 Y
11. André Couto MCU Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T Sunred + 12.412 Y
12. James Nash GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford + 20.496  
13. Joseph Merszei MCU Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320si BMW + 20.883 Y
14. Filipe de Souza MCU China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet + 21.920 Y
15. Célio Alves Dias MCU China Dragon Chevrolet Lacetti Chevrolet + 22.760 Y
16. Mak Ka Lok MCU RPM Racing BMW 320si BMW + 24.471 Y
17. Kin Veng Ng MCU China Dragon Chevrolet Cruze LT Chevrolet + 25.589 Y
18. Eurico de Jesus MCU Five Auto Racing Honda Accord R Honda + 26.243 Y
19. Kei Cozzolino ITA ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 2 laps Y
20. Gabriele Tarquini ITA Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 2 laps  
21. Norbert Michelisz HUN Zengõ Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW + 3 laps Y
22. Pepe Oriola ESP Tuenti Racing Team SEAT León WTCC SEAT + 3 laps Y
23. Stefano D’Aste ITA Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC BMW + 3 laps Y
  Not Classified    
NF. Tom Coronel NED ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC BMW 4 laps  
NF. Alex MacDowell GBR Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Chevrolet 3 laps Y
NF. Tom Chilton GBR Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC Ford 3 laps  
NF. Mehdi Bennani MOR Proteam Racing BMW 320TC BMW 3 laps Y
NF. Henry Ho Wai Kun MCU Five Auto Racing Team BMW 320si BMW 1 lap Y
NS. Charles Ka-Ki Ng HKG Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC BMW   Y

‘Y’ denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy competitor

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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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