Race 2: Muller inherits final win

Jorg Muller wrapped up second place in the final FIA European Touring Car Championship points table with victory in the last race of the season at Estoril in Portugal for BMW. Fabrizio Giovanardi had been on course to record a double victory in his Alfa Romeo, but gearbox problems put him out

Race 2: Muller inherits final win

The bruising first race had accounted for Luis Villamil (Alfa) and Fabrizio de Simone (BMW) with accident damage, plus Dirk Muller (BMW) due to a blown engine. Nicola Larini (Alfa) started from the pit lane due to the repair time necessary for his 156 Gta - not good for his battle for second in the points with Jorg Muller.

The reversal of the top six positions from race one put James Hanson (Volvo) and Tommy Rustad (Nissan) on the front row, but that didn't last long as Jorg Muller rocketed between them to take the lead with the similar machine of Tom Coronel doing likewise to grab second. Both Hanson and Rustad ran wide at the first turn and dropped outside the top 10.

Giovanardi got past Coronel on the opening lap and then made short work of Muller, who appeared to slide wide at Turn 7 on lap two. With Rickard Rydell (Volvo) taking third from Coronel on the exit of Turn 1 on lap three, the order was restored to that of race one (before time penalties were added) with Giovanardi leading Muller and Rydell.

Just as Muller was closing in, Giovanardi's Alfa suddenly slowed with a gearbox problem and hobbled back to the pits. That allowed Jorg to cruise to victory, while Coronel made it a BMW one-two by passing Rydell on lap eight, despite a gearbox problem, and that became a one-two-three as Fredrik Ekblom further demoted Rydell on lap 10.

"My car was a little bit better [than Giovanardi's] over the distance," said Muller. "I saw how much faster he was on new tyres, so I decided to let him through. Then his tyres went off, but it would have been difficult to pass him. I think I would have stayed behind him, to be honest, to get second in the championship."

Behind Rydell, whose diff was playing up, was Duncan Huisman (BMW) and Larini, who only overcame Tom Ferrier (Alfa) on the final lap.


Jorg Muller, Schnitzer BMW 320I, 12 laps
Tom Coronel, Carly-Isert BMW 320I, +2.387s
Fredrik Ekblom, RBM BMW 320I, +6.273s
Rickard Rydell, Prodrive Volvo S60, +7.058s
Duncan Huisman, Carly-Isert BMW 320I, +12.086s
Nicola Larini, Nordauto Alfa Romeo 156 Gta, +13.652s

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Race 1: Giovanardi pips Muller

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