James Nash has claimed his second WTCC career win with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in today’s second race around the streets of Porto.
Starting from pole position in the second race’s customary standing start, Nash made a strong getaway to hold off the two Münnich Motorsport SEATs of Marc Basseng and Rob Huff, keeping them at bay through the opening run of corners. Huff quickly managed to depose teammate Basseng for second place.
James Thompson and Michel Nykjær staged an early battle for fourth place, while behind them, Pepe Oriola tried a dive-bomb pass on Tom Chilton at Turn 16 for sixth on the opening lap, pushing the RML driver wide and costing the Brit four places as he slipped offline. Also through in the incident went Chilton’s teammate Yvan Muller, along with the BMWs of Tom Coronel and Mehdi Bennani.
On the third lap, Nykjær moved into fourth past Thompson at the final chicane, and then repeated the exact same move on Basseng a lap later to move into third place.
From that point, the Dane’s progress was stalled courtesy of a very resistant Huff. The defending champion used every trick in the book, and once cut the chicane to defend his position on the fifth lap, which ultimately went unpunished by the stewards after a post-race hearing.
Having been demoted to fifth by Nykjær, Thompson quickly lost that spot to Chevrolet debutante Oriola, but the Spaniard had cut the chicane in his attempts to get by and had to return the spot to the LADA, only just managing to do so without letting the chasing Muller through as well.
Oriola managed to complete the move on Thompson on the seventh lap at the final chicane, and then also managed to overhaul Basseng before the chequered flag to claim a pair of fourth-placed finishes for the weekend – not a bad result considering his lack of mileage in the Cruze.
Up in front, Nash stoked away into a comfortable lead of some eight seconds, before backing off in the closing stages to claim his second win of the year, following his maiden success at the Salzburgring.
Huff finished in second ahead of Nykjær and Oriola, while Basseng claimed his best finish of the season since Marrakech, with Thompson chased hard over the finish line by Muller.
Muller’s lead in the Drivers’ Championship now extends to 122 points over Nykjær, who moves into second in the standings courtesy of a disastrous weekend for the Honda outfit. Gabriele Tarquini failed to claim a point in either race, retiring from today’s opener with a turbo failure, the repairs to which ensured a rear-of-the-grid start for Race 2. The Italian tumbles to fifth in the standings, with Nash vaulting to third and Huff moving into fourth.
The next round of the championship is the Race of Argentina on the first weekend of August.
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal – Race 2 Final Classification (11 laps):
|1.||James Nash||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||23:41.247||Y|
|2.||Robert Huff||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 5.624|
|3.||Michel Nykjær||NIKA Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 6.012||Y|
|4.||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 6.368||Y|
|5.||Marc Basseng||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||+ 7.946|
|6.||James Thompson||LADA Sport Granta||+ 8.683|
|7.||Yvan Muller||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 9.336|
|8.||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 9.805|
|9.||Tom Chilton||RML Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 10.178|
|10.||Mehdi Bennani||Scuderia Proteam BMW 320TC||+ 10.669||Y|
|11.||Tiago Monteiro||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 11.019|
|12.||Stefano D’Aste||PB Sport BMW 320TC||+ 11.560||Y|
|13.||Darryl O’Young||ROAL Motorsport BMW 320TC||+ 15.262||Y|
|14.||Hugo Valente||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 23.847||Y|
|15.||Charles Ka-Ki Ng||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 30.812||Y|
|16.||Nikolai Karamyshev||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||+ 31.836||Y|
|17.||Alex MacDowall||Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+ 32.306||Y|
|18.||Franz Engstler||Liqui Moly Engstler BMW 320TC||+ 33.542||Y|
|19.||Mikhail Kozlowskiy||LADA Sport Granta||+ 34.673|
|20.||Gabriele Tarquini||Castrol Honda Civic WTCC||+ 36.144|
|21.||Fredy Barth||Wiechers-Sport BMW 320TC||+ 2 laps||Y|
|DNF.||René Münnich||Münnich Motorsport SEAT León WTCC||7 laps||Y|
|DNF.||Fernando Monje||Campos Racing Team SEAT León WTCC||4 laps||Y|
|DNS.||Tom Boardman||Special Tune Racing SEAT León WTCC||Y|
|DNS.||Norbert Michelisz||Zengõ Motorsport Honda Civic WTCC|
“Y” denotes Yokohama Independent Trophy competitor.
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