autosport.com
Search:
Find out more about our subscriptions
  AUTOSPORT+ LOGIN AUTOSPORT Plus  
Username:
Password:
WTCC NEWS 

Shanghai WTCC: Rob Huff wins as Yvan Muller and Alain Menu tangle

Rob Huff wins at ShanghaiRob Huff was the beneficiary of a controversial clash between his RML Chevrolet team-mates as he won the second World Touring Car Championship race at Shanghai.

Race one victor Alain Menu had appeared well-placed to do the double after working his way around the outside of poleman Tom Coronel at the hairpin on lap five.

Reigning WTCC champion Muller also passed Coronel on the inside of the corner, as the factory Chevrolet men progressed from their reverse-grid start slots towards their familiar formation at the front of the field.

The flashpoint came three laps later, when Muller made an aborted overtaking attempt into Turn 1 and rammed Menu out of the lead.

Despite Muller's best efforts to back out of the manoeuvre, Menu was knocked backwards off the track and wrecked his tyres regaining control.

The clash paved a clear path for Huff into the lead. He was delighted with his dramatic turn of fortune after suffering major wheelspin away from the standing start.

After qualifying fourth at the beginning of the weekend, I could never have believed this could have happened," said Huff, who has extended a sudden lead in the drivers' standings.

"I had a clutch problem at the start and found myself behind Yvan, but I was quite happy to stay there.

"This is not the way we wanted to win, but I will take it as it comes."

Perhaps to avert a drive-through, Muller handed second place back to Menu on lap 10. But having appeared the fastest factory Chevrolet driver throughout the Shanghai meeting, Menu's ruined tyres meant he was unable to maintain the position and dropped to third two laps from home.

"It is too early to speak about the incident, but I think that has probably cost both [Yvan] and myself the championship," said an emotional Menu, referring to an ongoing investigation into the incident by race officials.

With just the Macau finale remaining, Huff now leads the standings on 390 points, provisionally 23 ahead of Muller, with Menu 38 points adrift on 352.

Coronel held off Independents' victor Stefano D'Aste for fourth place. Wiechers-Sport racer D'Aste was forced to contend with a flapping left-front door for much of the race, but was rewarded by making large inroads in the Yokohama Independents' Trophy title race.

Norbert Michelisz, class points leader entering the weekend, was swiped by Alex MacDowall at Turn 1, delaying the Bamboo racer and forcing Hungarian Michelisz into retirement. Independent championship challenger Pepe Oriola also failed to finish.

Mehdi Bennani took a fine sixth place for Proteam, ahead of Gabriele Tarquini - who lost ground in the early laps.

By far the most intense battle of the race was a seven-car fight over eighth place, led for a lengthy period by a defensive Tom Boardman.

The Special Tuning racer was eventually passed on the grass at Turn 3 by Colin Turkington on the last lap.

Results - 13 laps:

Pos  Driver             Team/Car                   Time/Gap
 1.  Rob Huff           Chevrolet                25m17.714s
 2.  Yvan Muller        Chevrolet                  + 1.195s
 3.  Alain Menu         Chevrolet                  + 2.698s
 4.  Tom Coronel        ROAL BMW                   + 4.378s
 5.  Stefano d'Aste     Wiechers BMW               + 4.866s
 6.  Mehdi Bennani      Proteam BMW                + 5.574s
 7.  Gabriele Tarquini  Lukoil SEAT               + 20.406s
 8.  Colin Turkington   WSR Chevrolet             + 25.189s
 9.  Tom Boardman       Special Tuning SEAT       + 26.741s
10.  Alberto Cerqui     ROAL BMW                  + 27.167s
11.  Tiago Monteiro     Honda                     + 27.342s
12.  Aleksei Dudukalo   Lukoil SEAT               + 28.113s
13.  Darryl O'Young     Bamboo Chevrolet          + 30.937s
14.  Fredy Barth        SUNRED SEAT               + 32.626s
15.  Franz Engstler     Engstler BMW              + 35.170s
16.  Fernando Monje     SUNRED SEAT               + 35.249s
17.  Alex MacDowall     Bamboo Chevrolet          + 35.368s
18.  Hugo Valente       SUNRED SEAT               + 41.675s
19.  Tom Chilton        Arena Ford                + 42.220s
20.  Eric Kwong         Look Fong Chevrolet     + 1m15.910s
21.  Filipe Souza       China Dragon Chevrolet  + 1m21.126s
22.  Ng Kin Veng        China Dragon Chevrolet  + 1m34.329s
23.  Charles Ng         Engstler BMW                + 1 lap
24.  Norbert Michelisz  Zengo BMW                   + 1 lap

Retirements:

     Alex Liu           Engstler BMW                11 laps
     Kelvin Leong       Song Veng Honda              7 laps
     Pepe Oriola        Tuenti SEAT                  6 laps
     James Nash         Arena Ford                   0 laps
  More news  
    advertisement
  RELATED LINKS
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the autosport.com shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
  RELATED STORIES
Muller penalised for Menu collision
Menu wins as Huff takes points lead
Menu on WTCC pole at Shanghai
Menu tops second Shanghai practice
Turkington heads Shanghai practice
MacDowall leads China WTCC test
Haymarket