Andy Priaulx charged to his first victory of the season from 14th on the grid in today's first World Touring Car race at Oschersleben
The Briton started on the seventh row after failing to make it through to Q2 in changeable conditions during Saturday's qualifying session, but a tremendous first lap put him in position to challenge for the win today.
Predictably, there was an incident at the tight first chicane as the field tried to funnel through the narrow left-right. Alex Zanardi's BMW was spun around and then hit by Augusto Farfus. Priaulx, though, managed to avoid the trouble and came out of the first lap in fourth place.
He then picked off the SEATs of Tom Coronel and Rickard Rydell before passing pole-sitter Gabriele Tarquini for the lead on the inside of the final corner on lap six. Once in front, he controlled the race easily - setting a best lap more than half a second faster than anyone else's.
Second place was enough to give Tarquini the championship lead, thanks to another bad day for Yvan Muller. The Frenchman was passed by Farfus for 10th on the second lap and clipped the tyres at the first chicane, breaking his right front wheel and suspension.
Tarquini, Rydell and Coronel spaced out in second, third and fourth, so the main battle of the race was for fifth. Jaap van Lagen was slowly reeled in by a convoy with Nicola Larini and Augusto Farfus at the head. Van Lagen was holding on amiably until the last corner of the last lap where Larini gave the Lada a shove into the gravel.
Larini took fifth, narrowly ahead of Farfus at the line, while van Lagen could only rejoin and finish 11th. Larini was later handed a 30-second penalty for causing the incident, dropping him to 15th place.
Stefano D'Aste will share the front row of the grid for the day's second race with pole-sitter Franz Engstler, after the pair finished seventh and eighth in their BMWs.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap 1. Andy Priaulx BMW 22m52.547s 2. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT +3.939 3. Rickard Rydell SEAT +6.350 4. Tom Coronel SEAT +15.398 5. Nicola Larini Chevrolet +22.502 6. Augusto Farfus BMW +22.553 7. Stefano D'Aste BMW +22.749 8. Franz Engstler BMW +23.044 9. Sergio Hernandez BMW +23.392 10. Tom Boardman SEAT +31.979 11. Jaap van Lagen Lada +32.059 12. Marin Colak SEAT +33.376 13. Kristian Poulsen BMW +33.596 14. Philip Geipel BMW +36.101 15. Jean-Marie Clairet SEAT +36.557 16. Kirill Ladygin Lada 1:19.407 17. Alex Zanardi BMW +1 lap 18. Alain Menu Chevrolet +2 laps 19. Tiago Monteiro SEAT +3 laps Retirements Michel Nykjaer Chevrolet 7 laps Yvan Muller SEAT 4 laps Viktor Shapovalov Lada 2 laps Jordi Gene SEAT 2 laps Jorg Muller BMW 0 laps Felix Porteiro BMW 0 laps Rob Huff Chevrolet 0 laps Jason Watt SEAT 0 laps
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