Muller and Menu win in Portugal
Sun, 03 Jun 15:12:00 2012
Yvan Muller claimed his sixth victory of the WTCC season in Portimao while Alain Menu won race two as Michel Vaillant.
Yvan Muller claimed his sixth victory of the WTCC season in Portimao thanks to a flashing start that saw him overtaking pole sitter Gabriele Tarquini before the first turn.
For the whole race the reigning World Champion maintained control, keeping Tarquini and Rob Huff at a safe distance. The three of them finished in the order, with Norbert Michelisz being classified fourth and victorious in the Yokohama Trophy.
Behind the top four, Alain Menu and his Chevrolet in Vaillante disguise recovered from the ninth position at the start to the fifth at the end. Menu was followed by Tom Coronel, while Tiago Monteiro won the fight with Alberto Cerqui to finish seventh.
On the last-but-one lap a broken drive-shaft stopped James Thompson’s LADA Granta that had been fighting for the ninth position with Pepe Oriola, Stefano D’Aste and Alex MacDowall.
Like in a happy ending movie, Alain Menu sealed his and Chevrolet’s Michel Vaillant experience by winning today’s second race in a dominant way. Just like Michel Vaillant had done many times in the comic books.
Menu took the lead at the start and pulled away, creating a big gap and leaving his competitors to have close and tough fights behind him.
Pepe Oriola and Tom Coronel fought for the whole race. Door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper, they took turns in the second place until Oriola managed to prevail, claiming his first WTCC podium and also the first ever for a 17-year old in an FIA World Championship.
Another tough battle involved Yvan Muller, Rob Huff, Gabriele Tarquini and Alberto Cerqui over the fourth place. After keeping the two Chevrolet drivers at bay for most of the race, Tarquini was the victim of a three-car clash and retired, while Huff and Muller finished fourth and fifth, with Cerqui in a brilliant sixth.
James Thompson’s LADA had finally a trouble-free race and was classified in an encouraging 11th place.