Shanghai WTCC: Menu wins, Muller in trouble, Huff grabs points lead

Alain Menu survived a fraught opening sequence of corners at Shanghai to claim his fifth World Touring Car Championship victory of the season

Shanghai WTCC: Menu wins, Muller in trouble, Huff grabs points lead

The Swiss veteran was chased throughout by RML Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff, but the Briton had little incentive to stage a passing move as title rival Yvan Muller was a first-lap retirement following contact at Turn 2.

"I wasn't pushing at all," said Huff, whose second place moves him ahead of Muller into the championship lead. "After the dramas I have had in the past, as soon as I saw that Yvan was in trouble I stayed off the kerbs and just wanted to finish."

Muller's problems started when he attempted to pass polesitter Menu around the outside of Turn 1. Light contact between the fighting Chevrolet men forced three-time champion Muller wide and allowed the chasing Huff into second.

Into Turn 2, Muller was tapped sideways by Independents' points leader Norbert Michelisz, and then received further knocks from 2012 debutant Colin Turkington and a Bamboo Engineering Cruze.

As Muller headed for the pits nursing a broken right-rear wheel, Michelisz received an arguably harsh drive-through penalty.

Chain reaction incidents broke out further through the pack. Pepe Oriola rode over Turkington's WSR Cruze's wheels, sending Turkington down to 20th while damage to the Tuenti Leon would later force the Spaniard to pit for repairs. Both Bamboo Engineering drivers also sustained race-ending damage.

Double 2012 victor Stefano d'Aste was promoted to third place for Wiechers-Sport, and the Italian maintained a comfortable margin over race two polesitter Tom Coronel and Gabriele Tarquini in the best of the SEATs.

Tom Boardman was another benefactor of the opening lap carnage. The lone Special Tuning SEAT expertly negotiated the early laps to rise from 20th to sixth place.

After a disappointing qualifying effort, Tiago Monteiro also made stunning progress to move from 17th to seventh in only the second race weekend for the factory Honda Civic.

Monteiro was hounded in the closing laps by a charging Turkington, and the Portuguese ex-grand prix driver was just 0.1 seconds ahead of the former British Touring Car champion at the flag.

Huff now leads the drivers' standings on 365 points, 16 ahead of Muller, with Menu third on 337.

Race - 13 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Alain Menu Chevrolet 25m12.369s 2. Rob Huff Chevrolet + 1.500s 3. Stefano d'Aste Wiechers BMW + 11.192s 4. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 13.327s 5. Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil SEAT + 15.653s 6. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT + 26.382s 7. Tiago Monteiro Honda + 30.032s 8. Colin Turkington WSR Chevrolet + 30.125s 9. Alberto Cerqui ROAL BMW + 31.463s 10. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT + 36.426s 11. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 40.183s 12. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 40.320s 13. Charles Ng Engstler BMW + 44.499s 14. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 46.076s 15. Hugo Valente SUNRED SEAT + 47.406s 16. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW + 1m07.550s 17. Kelvin Leong Song Veng Honda + 1m21.551s 18. Eric Kwong Look Fong Chevrolet + 1m25.129s 19. Filipe Souza China Dragon Chevrolet + 1m27.186s 20. Ng Kin Veng China Dragon Chevrolet + 1m37.603s 21. Alex Liu Engstler BMW + 1 lap Retirements: Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 9 laps Fernando Monje SUNRED SEAT 8 laps James Nash Arena Ford 7 laps Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet 6 laps Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil SEAT 6 laps Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 4 laps Yvan Muller Chevrolet 1 lap 
shares
comments
Shanghai WTCC: Menu leads all-Chevrolet front row

Previous article

Shanghai WTCC: Menu leads all-Chevrolet front row

Next article

Shanghai WTCC: Rob Huff wins as Yvan Muller and Alain Menu tangle

Shanghai WTCC: Rob Huff wins as Yvan Muller and Alain Menu tangle
Load comments

About this article

Series WTCC
Drivers Sven Muller
Author Peter Mills
Why joker laps are entering the mainstream Plus

Why joker laps are entering the mainstream

This season the World Touring Car Championship looks certain to bring joker laps to a circuit-racing world championship for the first time. And it need not be the daft gimmick people may think

WTCC
Apr 6, 2017
The making of the world's best tin-top driver Plus

The making of the world's best tin-top driver

He has been overshadowed at Citroen for the last three seasons, but the retirement of Yvan Muller means the world says farewell to one of touring-car racing's finest talents

WTCC
Sep 26, 2016
Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC Plus

Volvo's plan to conquer the WTCC

Volvo gave the World Touring Car Championship a major boost when it announced it would enter the series, but its ambitions don't stop there. JACK COZENS examines its programme, the S60 and what its arrival means for the WTCC

WTCC
Jan 18, 2016
The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off Plus

The WTCC's Nordschleife gamble paid off

A 17-car field on a 13-mile track - the WTCC's Nurburgring Nordschleife gamble wasn't going to be easy to pull off. STUART CODLING explains how the series made it work

WTCC
May 20, 2015
Insight from a Nordschleife master Plus

Insight from a Nordschleife master

World championship racing returns to the Nordschleife this weekend. STUART CODLING got a lesson from one of the legendary track's few masters

WTCC
May 15, 2015
Becoming world champion for £100k Plus

Becoming world champion for £100k

The 2012 World Touring Car champion says he never had the money to race cars. Yet 2015 is his 11th season in the WTCC. He talks STUART CODLING through his journey from motorsport fan to paid professional - for little more than £100,000

WTCC
Mar 23, 2015
Can the vanquished champion bounce back? Plus

Can the vanquished champion bounce back?

The World Touring Car Championship kicks off in Argentina this weekend, and Yvan Muller bids to reclaim his throne from Citroen team-mate Jose Maria Lopez. He talks to STUART CODLING

WTCC
Mar 6, 2015
The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014 Plus

The top 10 WTCC drivers of 2014

Citroen had no rivals during the 2014 World Touring Car Championship, and 'rookie' Jose Maria Lopez hit the ground running to emerge as a worthy champion. PETER MILLS rates the field

WTCC
Dec 3, 2014