The Frenchman resisted strong pressure from Tom Coronel, who could not find a gap for an overtaking manoeuvre.
Muller was helped by a red flag which suspended the race on lap four, following an incident that involved Charles Ng and Fredy Barth. This cut the race into two legs – of four and 11 laps – which allowed Muller to save and cool down the front tyres.
Norbert Michelisz obtained another podium result for Honda, while Rob Huff and James Thompson were classified in fourth and fifth respectively.
This meant five different manufacturers – Chevrolet, BMW, Honda, SEAT and LADA – in the top five and the best result ever for LADA in WTCC so far.
Michel Nykjaer finished seventh and won the Yokohama Trophy race.
As a consequence of the incident at the start, Fredy Barth will not take part in Race 2 because of an injured wrist, while Charles Ng lost his front row position on the reversed grid having asked for neutralisation at the parc fermé for repairs.
Start – Muller takes the lead from Coronel, Michelisz, Huff and Thompson
Lap 1 – Ng and Bart crash at Turn 1; the safety car is deployed
Lap 1 – Karamyshev and O’Young limp to the pits after being involved in the incident at T1
Lap 4 – the race is red-flagged to allow removing Ng’s car
Lap 5 – the race resumes; O’Young and Karamyshev rejoin
Lap 6 – Basseng overtakes Bennani for 12th
Lap 7 – Nash, Chilton and D’Aste fight for 9th
Lap 8 – Basseng slips from 12th to 15th behind Bennani, Monteiro and MacDowall
Lap 9 – Engstler pits and rejoins
Lap 12 – Coronel puts the pressure on Muller
Lap 15 – Muller wins from Coronel and Michelisz
- Sports & Recreation
- Tom Coronel
- Fredy Barth
- Norbert Michelisz