Maiden Win for Gene and New Leon

Jordi Gene delighted his home crowd at Valencia in Spain when he took his and the new SEAT Leon's maiden World Touring Car Championship victory

Maiden Win for Gene and New Leon

The Spaniard managed to hold off the fast-starting BMW of Dirk Muller at the start, with the pair banging wheels on the run down to the first corner.

Muller's car was briefly launched up onto two wheels and the German's loss of momentum managed to allow Gene's teammate Peter Terting to retake second place - which proved crucial for the rest of the race.

As Gene set about building up a lead, Terting managed to hold up the much quicker Muller for several laps before finally yielding second place on lap five.

By that stage, however, Gene was too far ahead to be captured and he eventually took the chequered flag 3.2 seconds ahead.

"Tonight I am not going to sleep because the emotion I have at the moment is unbelievable," said Gene. "To come to Spain and have this result is just amazing."

Behind Muller, Terting held onto third place to make it two SEATs on the podium, with Andy Priaulx eventually managing to salvage fourth place after starting down in 15th.

Priaulx had stayed out of trouble on an incident-filled first lap to initially move up to sixth, before getting past Gabriele Tarquini on lap five and then Fabrizio Giovanardi on lap nine.

The result leaves Dirk Muller with a two-point lead over Priaulx in the title chase, with Giovanardi a further six points adrift.

Alex Zanardi will start this afternoon's second race from pole position after taking eighth place in race one.

CLASSIFIED: Pos  Driver Car Time 1.  Jordi Gene  SEAT Leon  22:48.757    2.  Dirk Muller  BMW 320i  +  3.288    3.  Peter Terting  SEAT Leon  +  7.099    4.  Andy Priaulx  BMW 320i  +  8.417    5.  Jorg Muller  BMW 320i  +  10.928    6.  Fabrizio Giovanardi  Alfa Romeo 156  +  15.506    7.  Nicola Larini  Chevrolet Lacetti  +  19.414    8.  Alessandro Zanardi  BMW 320i  +  19.937    9.  Stephane Ortelli  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  25.285   10.  Marc Carol  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  26.214   11.  Adriano De Micheli  Honda Accord Euro R  +  28.953   12.  Giuseppe Ciro  BMW 320i  +  31.876   13.  Tomas Engstrom  Honda Accord Euro R  +  32.654   14.  Antonio Garcia  BMW 320i  +  42.743   15.  Polo Villaamil  SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  45.121   16.  Gabriele Tarquini  Alfa Romeo 156  +  53.181   17.  Stefano D'aste  BMW 320i  +  1 Lap   NOT CLASSIFIED/RETIREMENTS: Driver Car On Lap Augusto Farfus Jr.  Alfa Romeo 156  9  Tom Coronel  SEAT Toledo Cupra  9  Rickard Rydell  SEAT Leon  6  Carl Rosenblad  BMW 320i  4  Alain Menu  Chevrolet Lacetti  4  James Thompson  Alfa Romeo 156  2  Thomas Klenke  Ford Focus  2  Michael Funke  Ford Focus  2  Marc Hennerici  BMW 320i  2  Robert Huff  Chevrolet Lacetti  1  Fastest Lap: Dirk Muller, 1:43.795 on lap 3 
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Series WTCC
Author Jonathan Noble
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