Huff wins wet Okayama race one

Rob Huff took a determined victory in a very wet first World Touring Car Championship race at Okayama

Huff wins wet Okayama race one

The Chevrolet driver started third in the race, which began behind the safety car due to the adverse weather conditions. Once the field was released on lap three, Huff went straight by Augusto Farfus's RBM BMW at Attwood corner and quickly closed up on polesitter Andy Priaulx's sister car.

After banging doors with the three-time world champion exiting Williams corner, Huff made the move stick going into Piper on lap five and pulled away to a 2.977-second victory - his second of the season.

Priaulx made it a British one-two, but with Yvan Muller completing the podium, Priaulx only cut the Frenchman's championship lead to 22 points with 75 still available.

Muller's drive was a charging one, the Chevrolet driver coming from eighth on the grid to third in the race after carefully picking the right moments to pass Norbert Michelisz, Colin Turkington and Farfus.

Farfus, who finished fourth, had earlier been embroiled in a good battle with title contender Gabriele Tarquini. But the SR-Sport SEAT driver slid into the gravel at Williams on lap six, hit the tyre barrier and dropped to eighth, although with only minor damage.

Michelisz took a career-best fifth place in his Zengo-Dension SEAT while Turkington slipped from fourth on the grid to sixth in his WSR BMW.

Tarquini finished seventh though after Michel Nykjaer pulled his SUNRED SEAT out of the way to let the world champion past on the last lap.

Tiago Monteiro was eliminated on the first lap as he and Franz Engstler spun in unison at Turn 1. Further around the lap, Fredy Barth (SUNRED) and Kristian Poulsen (Poulsen BMW) made contact at Piper, the latter spinning into Stefano D'Aste (Proteam BMW), who ended up in the wall.

All of that helped to hand a first independent victory to local driver Yukinori Taniguchi, in 11th place overall. His bamboo-engineering team-mate Darryl O'Young was right on his tail to help the team take its first one-two in the class.

Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 31m46.668s 2. Andy Priaulx BMW + 2.977s 3. Yvan Muller Chevrolet + 4.931s 4. Augusto Farfus BMW + 8.596s 5. Norbert Michelisz SEAT + 9.742s 6. Colin Turkington BMW + 11.310s 7. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT + 13.876s 8. Michel Nykjaer SEAT + 14.901s 9. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 30.022s 10. Robert Dahlgren Volvo + 31.077s 11. Yukinori Taniguchi Chevrolet + 1m13.148s 12. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet + 1m15.995s 13. Sergio Hernandez BMW + 1m17.546s 14. Nobuteru Taniguchi BMW + 1m17.857s 15. Franz Engstler BMW + 1m19.035s 16. Kristian Poulsen BMW + 1m26.602s 17. Mehdi Bennani BMW + 1m30.373s 18. Masataka Yanagida BMW + 1m30.957s 19. Henry Ho BMW + 1 lap 20. Yoshihiro Ito BMW + 1 lap 21. Tom Coronel SEAT + 1 lap Retirements: Kevin Chen BMW 9 laps Andrei Romanov BMW 9 laps Michael Rossi SEAT 6 laps Tiago Monteiro SEAT 2 laps Fredy Barth SEAT 2 laps Stefano D'Aste BMW 2 laps 
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