Monza WTCC: Yvan Muller leads all-Chevrolet race one podium

Yvan Muller claimed a lights to flag victory in an eventful and safety car-interrupted World Touring Car Championship opener at Monza

Monza WTCC: Yvan Muller leads all-Chevrolet race one podium

RML team-mate Tom Chilton earned a maiden WTCC podium in second, while Alex MacDowall also took his first top-three finish as he completed Chevrolet's lockout of the podium places.

Gabriele Tarquini was fourth for Honda. Defending champion Rob Huff came from the back of the grid to finish sixth, just behind Tarquini's team-mate Tiago Monteiro.

Two safety cars disrupted the race, the first leading out the opening lap due to the adverse conditions and the second prompted after Stefano d'Aste spun heavily into the barriers at Ascari after four laps.

Muller and Chilton had been easing away from the field at that point, while Huff had already charged from 22nd to 11th.

After one lap behind the safety car the pattern resumed, with Muller again shadowed closely by Chilton as the pair edged away.

MacDowall was a safe third, but behind him a multitude of squabbles broke out as Tarquini, Monteiro and Huff made their way through the field.

Tarquini picked off Marc Basseng, James Nash and then Pepe Oriola in quick succession to snatch fourth, while Monteiro's progress was made slightly easier when Basseng ran wide at Lesmo and then Oriola stopped on lap nine.

Huff also benefited to follow the duo home. A stout defence earned James Nash seventh, fractions ahead of the Zengo-run Honda Civic of Norbert Michelisz.

Nash was under intense pressure from Tom Boardman on the penultimate lap, but as Boardman looked to the outside at Lesmo contact resulted in a broken steering arm and sent him out.

Michelisz took up the chase but had to settle for eighth, ahead of the BMWs of Tom Coronel and Freddy Barth.

Results - 12 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 30m02.783s 2. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet + 0.923s 3. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet + 5.101s 4. Gabriele Tarquini Honda + 8.053s 5. Tiago Monteiro Honda + 15.261s 6. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT + 17.349s 7. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet + 19.964s 8. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda + 20.338s 9. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 28.837s 10. Fredy Barth Wiechers BMW + 37.740s 11. Jean-Philippe Dayraut Anome BMW + 39.226s 12. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT + 41.656s 13. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW + 48.116s 14. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT + 50.920s 15. Charles Ng Engstler BMW + 54.412s 16. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT + 58.733s 17. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 2m05.913s Retirements: Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT 10 laps Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 9 laps Michel Nykjaer NIKA Chevrolet 9 laps Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 8 laps Stefano d'Aste PB BMW 3 laps Aleksei Dudukalo Lada DNS James Thompson Lada DNS 
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