Yvan Muller wins Imola race two
|By Steven English||Sunday, September 20th 2009, 13:44 GMT|
Yvan Muller halted his run of bad World Touring Car results with victory in race two as SEAT continued to dominate at Imola.
The reigning champion had only scored four points in the last four races before finishing second to SEAT team-mate and championship leader Gabriele Tarquini in Sunday's first race. But he turned the tables on the Italian in race two, leading home the SEAT 1-2 this afternoon.
Muller made light work of getting into the lead from seventh on the grid, using turbo diesel power to blast by the BMWs of Alex Zanardi and Sergio Hernandez on the second lap before taking the lead from Alain Menu in the same fashion just a lap later.
Tarquini mirrored Muller's progress after unceremoniously shoving Rob Huff's Chevrolet out of the way at the second Rivazza on the opening lap.
The SEAT drivers did at least look like they would contest the victory, rather than settling into team formation. But the only opportunity that Tarquini had to displace his team-mate was wasted when he banged into the back of Muller under braking for Tamburello. He seemed to think better of attempting a repeat thereafter.
There was plenty more action involving the other SEATs, though. Jordi Gene attempted to wrestle sixth place away from Sergio Hernandez at Tamburello but didn't get far enough alongside the BMW and only succeeded in tapping his fellow Spaniard into a spin.
Tiago Monteiro then had a frightening moment when he clipped the back of Tom Boardman's SEAT on the way down to Rivazza, bounced over the grass on the inside of the corner and shot back across the track, just missing the front of Boardman on the way.
The likes of Rickard Rydell, Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx could only hope for the thin end of the points, starting from the back following their woes in the day's earlier race. Rydell made it up to seventh and Farfus eighth, while Priaulx just missed out in ninth.
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Yvan Muller SEAT 21m51.680s 2. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT + 0.312s 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 4.008s 4. Alex Zanardi BMW + 4.467s 5. Jordi Gene SEAT + 5.632s 6. James Thompson Lada + 7.190s 7. Rickard Rydell SEAT + 7.612s 8. Augusto Farfus BMW + 8.327s 9. Andy Priaulx BMW + 8.827s 10. Stefano D'Aste BMW + 9.499s 11. Sergio Hernandez BMW + 12.380s 12. Felix Porteiro BMW + 12.902s 13. Franz Engstler BMW + 13.390s 14. Tom Coronel SEAT + 13.933s 15. Jorg Muller BMW + 14.351s 16. Nicola Larini Chevrolet + 15.582s 17. Rob Huff Chevrolet + 19.759s 18. Tom Boardman SEAT + 30.537s 19. Kristian Poulsen BMW + 32.926s 20. Kirill Ladygin Lada + 37.197s 21. Andrea Larini SEAT + 37.198s 22. Fabio Fabiani BMW + 1m24.989s 23. Tiago Monteiro SEAT + 3 laps Retirements: Mehdi Bennani SEAT 6 laps