Yvan Muller extended his lead at the head of the World Touring Car Championship with a fourth victory of the season at Marrakech.
The race provided the clearest indication yet of the Chevrolet team's current performance advantage. From seventh on the reversed grid, reigning champion Muller took just five laps to slice through the field and into the lead in his RML-run Cruze.
"Well done to the team, because they provided us with the best car again," said the Frenchman. "I was expecting to be between fourth and sixth this afternoon. I found a good passing spot at the Turn 1 chicane, usually you compromise your entry to the first part of the corner for Turn 2, but I just arrived as fast as I could without thinking about Turn 2 and was able to make up some positions on the inside line on the exit."
Muller's Chevrolet team-mates chased in close proximity but failed to provide any serious threat. Briton Rob Huff claimed his second consecutive runner-up position ahead of the third factory Cruze of race one winner Alain Menu. Both took advantage of Muller's passing manoeuvres to speed their progress through the field.
"We working well as a team," said Huff. "I wasn't challenging Yvan, I was allowing him to make holes in the traffic and was then just following him through. I think we are all surprised how quickly we came through to the front."
After being punted into a spin in the opening WTCC race of the weekend, ROAL BMW's Tom Coronel took top non-Chevy honours in fourth.
Behind the Chevrolet formation, the Dutchman provided some welcome action by riding wildly over the chicanes in his attempts to hold off the Wiechers-Sport BMW of Stefano D'Aste.
"Tom was leaking oil and it completely covered my windscreen," said D'Aste, who finished fifth and took victory in the Independents' Trophy. "In Q2 I broke a damper, so I have to thank the team for giving me such a good car to get up from 11th on the grid."
WTCC rookie James Nash converted his reversed-grid pole position onto an early lead. The Arena Motorsport driver stayed until lap five, when Muller successfully slipstreamed him and demoted the Ford Focus on the back straight.
The Briton dropped behind Coronel and D'Aste when he arrived slightly too quickly at the second chicane on lap nine. Nash's eventual sixth place is the highest finish recorded year by Arena in its maiden WTCC campaign.
Lukoil SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini became the first retirement of the race when the Italian entered the pits at the completion of the formation lap.
Muller leads the drivers' championship on 130 points and enjoys a 24-point advantage over Menu. Huff is third in the standings on 97 points.
Results - 11 laps:
Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap
1. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 19m36.836s
2. Rob Huff Chevrolet + 0.381s
3. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 0.970s
4. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 2.153s
5. Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW + 2.641s
6. James Nash Arena Ford + 5.052s
7. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT + 5.589s
8. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 5.610s
9. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT + 7.374s
10. Darryl O'Young Special Tuning SEAT + 12.861s
11. Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil SEAT + 13.587s
12. Pasquale di Sabatino bamboo Chevrolet + 14.273s
13. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 18.629s
14. Charles Ng Engstler BMW + 29.173s
15. Andrea Barlesi SUNRED SEAT + 31.619s
16. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 3 laps
Did not finish:
Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW 5 laps
Alberto Cerqui ROAL BMW 2 laps
Alex Macdowall bamboo Chevrolet 0 laps
Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil SEAT 0 laps