WTCC - Nykjaer holds off Nash to win race one in Austria

Michel Nykjaer took a stunning lights-to-flag victory in World Touring Car Championship Race 1 at the Salzburgring despite a strong challenge from another Chevrolet Cruze driven by James Nash.

WTCC - Nykjaer holds off Nash to win race one in Austria

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Race one at the Salzburgring

Yvan Muller, starting from 13th on the grid, steadily carved his way through the field to complete an all-Chevrolet podium.

For much of the race it looked as though the top three would be comprised entirely of Yokohama Trophy entrants until Muller passed Mehdi Bennani’s BMW on the penultimate lap.

Following the penalties imposed by the stewards after qualifying, the starting grid looked very different. Nykjaer was on pole with Nash alongside him and the pair battled throughout the 12-lap race.

Muller produced the drive of the race – unsurprisingly, considering his pace throughout the weekend – while James Thompson finishing ninth meant that LADA out-scored Honda for the first time.

Non-finishers included Hugo Valente, who stopped on lap 9 following a collision, and both the Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMWs of Franz Engstler and Charles Ng, caused by Ng colliding with his teammate when Engstler was tapped into a spin by Darryl O’Young on lap 10.

Key moments

Lap 1 – Nykjaer first into T1. Munnich onto the grass after start. Three cars onto the escape road at T1. Barth passed Engstler for 4th. Thompson up to 6th.

Lap 2 – MacDowall passed Kozlovskiy for 7th. Muller up to 9th, Huff 10th

Lap 3 – Muller passed Kozlovskiy for 8th. Contact between Thompson and Engstler. MacDowall and Thompson passed Engstler. MacDowall then passed Thompson for 5th. Muller passed Thompson for 6th. Monje into pit lane and stopped.

Lap 4 – Kozlovskiy passed Engstler for 8th. Huff passed Engstler for 9th. Huff then passed Kozlovskiy for 8th. Chilton passed Engstler for 10th.

Lap 5 – Contact between Barth and MacDowall. Chilton passed Kozlovskiy for 9th.

Lap 6 – MacDowall ran wide at T2. Muller then passed both MacDowall and Barth for 4th. Kozlovskiy dropping back.

Lap 7 – MacDowall passed Barth for 5th.

Lap 8 – Contact between Thompson and Huff. Chilton and Huff both passed Thompson.

Lap 9 – Valente straight on at T1 and stopped after T2.

Lap 10 – Contact between Chilton and Huff. Enge, Engstler and O’Young involved in an incident at Turn 12. O’Young and Engstler out.

Lap 11 – Muller passed Bennani for 3rd.

Lap 12 – Nykjaer held off Nash to win. Yellow flags in Sector 3 because of O’Young and Engstler

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