Dirk Muller Wins First Spa Race

Dirk Muller won the first World Touring Car Championship race at Spa Franchorchamps today

The Championship leader had to pass fellow BMW driver Andy Priaulx mid-race and defend the position vigorously to take his third victory of the season.

He took the lead on lap five, having dispatched polesitter Augusto Farfus Jr a lap earlier. Muller had to drive round the outside of Priaulx on the run down to Les Combes. Priaulx took the inside line to defend the position, but Muller had used the tow through Eau Rouge to slingshot the Brit.

Priaulx then fought back and tried to repeat the manoeuvre back on Muller, but to no avail. The pair finished just 0.270 seconds apart at the flag.

"It was really perfect with my fourth position on the gird I thought I could do well," Muller said. "I had a little luck - all the fighting was behind me."

That battle was for third, eventually won by BMW's Jorg Muller, who beat Farfus Jr and Gabriele Tarquini to the position.

Jorg Muller took the position on the final corner after colliding with Farfus Jr at the La Source hairpin. The pair continued the run down to the finish line with their body panels locked together and smoke pouring from the back of Jorg Muller's car thanks to a puncture. Muller took the position by less than three hundredths of a second.

Jorg Muller said he only hit Farfus Jr because of a tap behind from Tarquini. He said: "I finished third. That's it. I got pushed from Tarquini and hit Farfus. I kept full throttle and that's why I finished third but this was not clean race and I do not like it."

German Michael Funke brought out the safety car after a dramatic roll on the opening lap. Funke was pushed wide into the barrier at Eau Rouge on the opening lap, which pitched the Ford Focus into a roll. Funke was unhurt, but the car looks unlikely to be repaired for today's second race.


Pos   Driver               Make                 Time
 1.   Dirk Muller          BMW 320i             22:58.706
 2.   Andy Priaulx         BMW 320i             +   0.270
 3.   Jorg Muller          BMW 320i             +   5.448
 4.   Augusto Farfus Jr.   Alfa Romeo 156       +   5.470
 5.   Gabriele Tarquini    Alfa Romeo 156       +   5.712
 6.   James Thompson       Alfa Romeo 156       +   5.859
 7.   Antonio Garcia       BMW 320i             +  10.694
 8.   Fabrizio Giovanardi  Alfa Romeo 156       +  11.297
 9.   Roberto Colciago     Honda Accord Euro R  +  11.495
10.   Jason Plato          SEAT Toledo Cupra    +  11.566
11.   Peter Terting        SEAT Toledo Cupra    +  11.965
12.   Rickard Rydell       SEAT Toledo Cupra    +  14.273
13.   Jordi Gene           SEAT Toledo Cupra    +  15.697
14.   Tom Coronel          Seat Toledo Cupra    +  16.329
15.   Alain Menu           Chevrolet Lacetti    +  18.058
16.   Giuseppe Ciro        BMW 320i             +  23.145
17.   Stefano D'aste       BMW 320i             +  23.655
18.   Nicola Larini        Chevrolet Lacetti    +  24.208
19.   Marc Hennerici       BMW 320i             +  26.567
20.   Valle Makela         Seat Toledo Cupra    +  27.660
21.   Adam Lacko           BMW 320i             +  29.982
22.   Thomas Klenke        Ford Focus           +  30.119
23.   Carl Rosenblad       BMW 320i             +  30.841
24.   Soheil Ayari         Peugeot 407          +1:06.782


      Driver               Male                On Lap
      Robert Huff          Chevrolet Lacetti     4
      Michael Funke        Ford Focus            0
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