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

Rob Huff was the beneficiary of a controversial clash between his RML Chevrolet team-mates as he won the second World Touring Car Championship race at Shanghai

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

Race one victor Alain Menu had appeared well-placed to do the double after working his way around the outside of poleman Tom Coronel at the hairpin on lap five.

Reigning WTCC champion Muller also passed Coronel on the inside of the corner, as the factory Chevrolet men progressed from their reverse-grid start slots towards their familiar formation at the front of the field.

The flashpoint came three laps later, when Muller made an aborted overtaking attempt into Turn 1 and rammed Menu out of the lead.

Despite Muller's best efforts to back out of the manoeuvre, Menu was knocked backwards off the track and wrecked his tyres regaining control.

The clash paved a clear path for Huff into the lead. He was delighted with his dramatic turn of fortune after suffering major wheelspin away from the standing start.

After qualifying fourth at the beginning of the weekend, I could never have believed this could have happened," said Huff, who has extended a sudden lead in the drivers' standings.

"I had a clutch problem at the start and found myself behind Yvan, but I was quite happy to stay there.

"This is not the way we wanted to win, but I will take it as it comes."

Perhaps to avert a drive-through, Muller handed second place back to Menu on lap 10. But having appeared the fastest factory Chevrolet driver throughout the Shanghai meeting, Menu's ruined tyres meant he was unable to maintain the position and dropped to third two laps from home.

"It is too early to speak about the incident, but I think that has probably cost both [Yvan] and myself the championship," said an emotional Menu, referring to an ongoing investigation into the incident by race officials.

With just the Macau finale remaining, Huff now leads the standings on 390 points, provisionally 23 ahead of Muller, with Menu 38 points adrift on 352.

Coronel held off Independents' victor Stefano D'Aste for fourth place. Wiechers-Sport racer D'Aste was forced to contend with a flapping left-front door for much of the race, but was rewarded by making large inroads in the Yokohama Independents' Trophy title race.

Norbert Michelisz, class points leader entering the weekend, was swiped by Alex MacDowall at Turn 1, delaying the Bamboo racer and forcing Hungarian Michelisz into retirement. Independent championship challenger Pepe Oriola also failed to finish.

Mehdi Bennani took a fine sixth place for Proteam, ahead of Gabriele Tarquini - who lost ground in the early laps.

By far the most intense battle of the race was a seven-car fight over eighth place, led for a lengthy period by a defensive Tom Boardman.

The Special Tuning racer was eventually passed on the grass at Turn 3 by Colin Turkington on the last lap.

Results - 13 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 25m17.714s 2. Yvan Muller Chevrolet + 1.195s 3. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 2.698s 4. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 4.378s 5. Stefano d'Aste Wiechers BMW + 4.866s 6. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 5.574s 7. Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil SEAT + 20.406s 8. Colin Turkington WSR Chevrolet + 25.189s 9. Tom Boardman Special Tuning SEAT + 26.741s 10. Alberto Cerqui ROAL BMW + 27.167s 11. Tiago Monteiro Honda + 27.342s 12. Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil SEAT + 28.113s 13. Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet + 30.937s 14. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT + 32.626s 15. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 35.170s 16. Fernando Monje SUNRED SEAT + 35.249s 17. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet + 35.368s 18. Hugo Valente SUNRED SEAT + 41.675s 19. Tom Chilton Arena Ford + 42.220s 20. Eric Kwong Look Fong Chevrolet + 1m15.910s 21. Filipe Souza China Dragon Chevrolet + 1m21.126s 22. Ng Kin Veng China Dragon Chevrolet + 1m34.329s 23. Charles Ng Engstler BMW + 1 lap 24. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW + 1 lap Retirements: Alex Liu Engstler BMW 11 laps Kelvin Leong Song Veng Honda 7 laps Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT 6 laps James Nash Arena Ford 0 laps 
shares
comments
Shanghai WTCC: Menu wins, Muller in trouble, Huff grabs points lead
Previous article

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

Next article

Shanghai WTCC: Yvan Muller stripped of podium after Menu collision

Shanghai WTCC: Yvan Muller stripped of podium after Menu collision
Load comments
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