Jorg Muller Wins at Valencia

Jorg Muller took victory for BMW in the second World Touring Car Championship race at Valencia in Spain on Sunday, but all eyes were on a thrilling battle for the runners-up spot between the main championship contenders

Jorg Muller Wins at Valencia

Alfa Romeo's Fabrizio Giovanardi and the BMW pair of Andy Priaulx and Dirk Muller were locked in an epic battle for second place that left the Spanish crowd on the edge of their seats.

As Jorg Muller roared away at the front for an untroubled victory, Giovanardi had held second in the early stages but knew he would be in for a tough time with his Alfa Romeo not as well suited to the Spanish track as the BMW.

He soon had Dirk Muller all over the back of the car and on lap eight the pair made light contact, which cost Muller a bit of time and allowed Priaulx to take over the battle for second.

Priaulx then lost that second place a lap later when he tried to take a wide-line to slingshot past Giovanardi and Muller seized the opportunity to dive down the inside himself.

A lap later and the BMW pair were rubbing doors again and they nearly went off the track. They both avoided disaster, though, although Muller briefly lost third place to Antonio Garcia.

The clash left Priaulx and his team furious afterwards - and his team boss was seen confronting Muller's own team chief after the race.

Priaulx said: "I had a clean fight with Fabrizio, but unfortunately we had a tough time with Dirk.

"It was a bit too tough for my liking. We need to concentrate on BMW winning the championship and we could have risked two BMWs going off today - which isn't on."

The battle between the BMW duo gave Giovanardi a tiny bit of breathing space and, despite a final push from the pursuing BMWs, he was able to hold onto second place at the chequered flag.

The result leaves the championship finely poised, with Dirk Muller just one point ahead of Priaulx and Giovanardi only a further four points behind.

CLASSIFIED: Pos  Driver Car Time 1. Jorg Muller  BMW 320i  23:00.510 2. Fabrizio Giovanardi  Alfa Romeo 156  +  7.760 3. Andy Priaulx  BMW 320i  +  8.245 4. Dirk Muller  BMW 320i  +  8.480 5. Alessandro Zanardi  BMW 320i  +  9.166 6. Antonio Garcia  BMW 320i  +  9.364 7. Augusto Farfus Jr.  Alfa Romeo 156  +  9.806 8. Marc Carol  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  11.123 9. Tomas Engstrom  Honda Accord Euro R  +  14.798 10.  Giuseppe Ciro  BMW 320i  +  15.023 11.  Rickard Rydell  SEAT Leon  +  15.653 12.  Peter Terting  SEAT Leon  +  17.125 13.  Tom Coronel  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  17.227 14.  Jordi Gene  SEAT Leon  +  18.059 15.  James Thompson  Alfa Romeo 156  +  21.765 16.  Carl Rosenblad  BMW 320i  +  24.145 17.  Stefano d'Aste  BMW 320i  +  26.045 18.  Michael Funke  Ford Focus  +  30.084 19.  Adriano de Micheli  Honda Accord Euro R  +  43.253 20.  Marc Hennerici  BMW 320i  +  44.647 21.  Polo Villaamil  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +1:07.495 22.  Stephane Ortelli  SEAT Toledo Cupra  + 1 Lap 23.  Gabriele Tarquini  Alfa Romeo 156  +  4 Laps NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Car On Lap Nicola Larini  Chevrolet Lacetti  2 Fastest Lap: Jorg Muller, 1:43.948 on lap 4
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Series WTCC
Drivers Yvan Muller
Author Jonathan Noble
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