Muller Wins Eventful Imola Race 2

Dirk Muller won an eventful second World Touring Car Championship race at Imola, holding off fellow BMW driver Andy Priaulx

Muller was hounded by the Brit, who ran off the circuit on the final lap in a last-gasp attempt at resting the lead from the German.

The result extended Muller's Championship lead to six points, ahead of Priaulx.

"I cannot believe it," Muller said. "We made a set up change between the first race and I had the perfect car to attack which suits my driving style. Zanardi was fighting hard for the lead but I came by and could control the field.

"In the first race I was behind Andy and I couldn't pass him, I was just hoping I could do the same to him in this race. And I did."

Priaulx remained happy, despite again failing to secure his first win of the season. He said: "Two podiums is the best result I could have hoped for this weekend. I should have won at Silverstone but the puncture ruined my race so in my mind I have won already this season.

"I'm ahead of where I expected to be at this stage of the Championship, so I hope I can lead it at the end of the year."

Race one winner Fabrizio Giovanardi lucked into the final podium position after a clash between BMW's Alex Zanardi and Alfa Romeo's Augusto Farfus Jr. on the last lap.

Zanardi, who had started on pole but had been passed by the BMWs, was successfully holding off Farfus in the closing stages. However, Farfus braked too late into the Curva Acque Minerali hitting Zanardi into a half spin and taking the pair of them off the circuit.

Richard Rydell took advantage to snatch fourth before Farfus Jr and Zanardi recovered to finish fifth and sixth respectively.

Alfa Romeo's James Thompson looked like he would be Zanardi's main rival, running fourth with five laps to go. However SEAT's Rickard Rydell slipped inside at the final chicane and Thompson's former BTCC rival Jason Plato tried to follow through. However, Plato hit Thompson into a spin.

The move allowed Plato's SEAT teammate Peter Terting through to an eventual seventh. Plato finished eighth.


Pos  Driver               Make               Time
 1.  Dirk Muller          BMW 320i           22:17.549
 2.  Andy Priaulx         BMW 320i           +   2.027
 3.  Fabrizio Giovanardi  Alfa Romeo 156     +   5.822
 4.  Rickard Rydell       SEAT Toledo Cupra  +   6.786
 5.  Augusto Farfus Jr.   Alfa Romeo 156     +   8.795
 6.  Alessandro Zanardi   BMW 320i           +  10.447
 7.  Peter Terting        SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  10.713
 8.  Jason Plato          SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  11.135
 9.  Antonio Garcia       BMW 320i           +  12.115
10.  Gabriele Tarquini    Alfa Romeo 156     +  12.446
11.  Nicola Larini        Chevrolet Lacetti  +  15.633
12.  Jorg Muller          BMW 320i           +  15.805
13.  Alessandro Balzan    SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  17.503
14.  Jordi Gene           SEAT Toledo Cupra  +  20.370
15.  Alain Menu           Chevrolet Lacetti  +  23.138
16.  Stefano D'aste       BMW 320i           +  34.187
17.  Thomas Klenke        Ford Focus         +  35.640
18.  Gianluca De Lorenzi  BMW 320i           +  39.018
19.  Carlos Mastretta     Seat Toledo Cupra  +  40.000
20.  Thomas Jager         Ford Focus         +  44.651
21.  Salvatore Tavano     Alfa Romeo 156     +2:13.246
22.  James Thompson       Alfa Romeo 156     +  1 Lap
23.  Andrea Larini        Alfa Romeo 156     +  3 Laps


     Driver               Make               On Lap
     Roberto Colciago     Honda Accord Euro     4
     Carl Rosenblad       BMW 320i              4
     Tom Coronel          Seat Toledo Cupra     4
     Stefano Valli        BMW 320i              0
     Robert Huff          Chevrolet Lacetti     0
     Marc Hennerici       BMW 320i              0

Fastest Lap:  Giovanardi, 2:00.625, on lap 2
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