Dutchman Duncan Huisman won the opening leg of the SJM Guia race at the 50th Macau Grand Prix - but the race was marred by a controversial collision between his Carly Motorsport team-mate Jorg Muller and closest challenger Simon Harrison on the last lap
Pole position man Andre Couto made a poor getaway and was beaten into the first corner by the three leading BMWs. Andy Priaulx, starting from fourth on the grid, had grabbed the lead ahead of Duncan Huisman and Jorg Muller.
But on the run down to Lisboa on the first lap there was a huge crash on the exit of Mandarin. Kenneth Look spun into the barriers on the right hand side of the track, after trying to avoid another car and then rebounded into the middle of the circuit. In the resulting chaos other drivers crashed out - including Naoya Yamano and Paul Chan.
The race was restarted at the start of the fifth lap and Priaulx kept his lead until the seventh lap, when Huisman dived inside to take the lead. The Dutchman, who has won the last two Guia races, was then unheaded - despite a moment at R-Bend on the 11th lap - to win the race by 2.634 seconds from Priaulx. He said: "The car was perfect apart from a slight clutch problem near the end of the race. It should be fixed for the second leg."
But Priaulx had a far from straightforward run to second place. Briton Simon Harrison in the Honda had moved up to third place into Lisboa on lap seven and looked a real threat to the dominant BMWs. With brilliant driving, Harrison grabbed second place from Priaulx into Lisboa on lap nine and then set about trying to close the gap to Huisman.
But, with his front brakes not working properly, Harrison could not close the gap and had a wild moment at Hospital - brushing the barriers briefly. He held on bravely, however, until the final lap when Jorg Muller made a bid to grab the position back only for the pair to collide and both crash out. Harrison blamed Muller completely for the accident. He said: "There was absolutely no chance to get through - and I know I could have won the second race. So there was only one reason for the accident."
The Muller-Harrison crash left the way open for Franz Engstler to grab third place in his BMW. He had been involved in a thrilling contest with local hero Andre Couto, who was driving brilliantly in the Alfa Romeo.
On lap 10 Couto had got past both BMWs into Lisboa to grab third, only to lose a place to Jorg Muller after locking up at Dona Maria later that lap. Couto then retook the third position before stopping with a water leak on the last lap, caused by debris from the Muller-Harrison crash.
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