Race 1: Tarquini triumphs

Gabriele Tarquini has taken victory in the first race of the ETCC championship in Dubai on Friday, but all eyes were on Andy Priaulx as he brought his BMW home in second spot to come within four points of title rival Dirk Muller in the title chase

Race 1: Tarquini triumphs

Starting from pole in the first race, Priaulx made a quick getaway and led through turn one as Muller began to fight his way from 10th on the grid. At one point the German was as high as fifth spot.

Meanwhile, Alfa Romeo's Gabriele Tarquini got the better of Priaulx on the home straight to take the lead. The second 156 Gta of James Thompson also clocked the BMW, but the newly-crowned British Touring Car champion did not want to get onvolved in the bigger fight and remained in third position despite cleary having more pace than his compatriot.

"They had a tremendous race pace," Priaulx said of the Alfa Romeos. "Tarquini went by as if I was standing still and then I had Thommo all over me but I have to thank him because it was extremely close at times but he was very fair.

"The car wasn't as good as it was yesterday but we will make some changes that should improve it," he added. "I'm looking forward to the next race."

Meanwhile, Muller had been shunted by the privateer Alfa Romeo of Luca Rangoni, puncturing the BMW's rear left tyre to effectively put the German out of the race.

"I was driving behind a SEAT and an Alfa when someone hit me from behind," Dirk said. "I could see him coming and gave him space to brake but he just rammed me. I will do my best in the second race but I have never seen such reckless driving in all my years in motorsport. It is sad."

Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 S2000 22m20.396s
Andy Priaulx BMW 320i +3.759s
James Thompson Alfa Romeo 156 S2000 +4.339s
Augusto Farfus Jr. Alfa Romeo 156 S2000 +7.843s
Frank Diefenbacher SEAT Toledo Cupra +8.807s
Jorg Muller BMW 320i +17.304s
Alessandro Zanardi BMW 320i +22.131s
Luca Rangoni Alfa Romeo 156 Gta +24.861s
Antonio Garcia BMW 320i +27.835s
Simon Harrison Honda Civic Type-R +36.342s

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