Huff soaks up constant pressure from Muller to take 20th WTCC win in Austria
|Sunday, May 20th 2012, 12:32 GMT|
Rob Huff soaked up constant pressure from works Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller at the Salzburgring to score his second victory of the season, and the 20th win of his World Touring Car Championship career.
Benefiting from a 10-12km/h slipstream, Muller edged marginally ahead of Huff on a number of occasions into the long, right-hand, Turn 9.
The triple world champion was handed a strong opportunity of taking the lead when Huff made a small mistake at the preceding chicane, but despite a short trip through the gravel, Huff maintained momentum to cover his inside lines at Turns 9, 10 and 11 and retain the lead.
Alain Menu completed a factory RML Chevrolet lock-out of the podium positions. On the final lap, Menu lost ground to the leaders on the exit of Turn 5, but the Swiss finished within a second of Huff, having played a waiting game through much of the race.
Lukoil Racing's Gabriele Tarquini held off fellow SEAT racer Tiago Monteiro (Tuenti Racing) by half a second to claim fourth.
WTCC rookie Alex MacDowall scored the Independents' Trophy victory, and sixth overall, aboard the bamboo-engineering Cruze.
Monteiro's Tuenti Racing team-mate Pepe Oriola finished seventh and continues to lead the Independents' drivers' standings.
Russian Aleksei Dudukalo in the second Lukoil Racing entry was involved in an accident with Hungaroring podium finisher Mehdi Bennani (Proteam BMW) but will assume his race two pole spot.
Special Tuning's Darryl O'Young suffered a troubled afternoon. Shortly after making contact with Stefano D'Aste (Wiechers-Sport), the Hong Kong racer was punted out of the race by Charles Ng (Team Engstler). O'Young was taken to the medical centre with a swollen ankle and will not start race two.
Muller leads the standings on 212 points. Huff is now second on 180, five points clear of Menu.
Results - 14 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 23m26.809s 2. Yvan Muller Chevrolet + 0.312s 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 0.739s 4. Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil SEAT + 2.919s 5. Tiago Monteiro Tuenti SEAT + 3.483s 6. Alex MacDowall bamboo Chevrolet + 3.774s 7. Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT + 4.741s 8. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 6.923s 9. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW + 8.419s 10. James Nash Arena Ford + 8.914s 11. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 9.796s 12. Pasquale di Sabatino bamboo Chevrolet + 10.429s 13. Alberto Cerqui ROAL BMW + 12.813s 14. Charles Ng Engstler BMW + 13.178s 15. Gabor Weber Zengo BMW + 13.983s 16. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 16.756s 17. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 18.390s Retirements: Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 13 laps Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil SEAT 11 laps Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW 5 laps Darryl O'Young Special Tuning SEAT 4 laps