Spa 1: Tarquini scores brilliant win

European Touring Car Championship leader Gabriele Tarquini scored a hard-fought victory in the first race of the Spa-Francorchamps double-header, after poleman Andy Priaulx ruined his chances off the line and was forced to fight back through the field

Spa 1: Tarquini scores brilliant win

The Guernseyman had obliterated the opposition in qualifying and taken pole by 0.7s, stunning his rivals. But he failed to release the handbrake cleanly so when he pulled away from the line his BMW GB 320i dragged and he lost 10 places.

Factory BMW Deutschland driver Dirk Müller therefore took the lead from the outside of the front row at the start. But works Alfa star Tarquini was fired up and didn't allow the Schnitzer Motorsport-prepared 320i to break away, and, coming into La Source on the second lap, the red car dived down the inside.

That was the only significant move of the race but Tarquni was forced to defend heavily as a train of five cars that included Müller, Jörg Muller, Nicola Larini, Fabrizio Giovanardi, and the recovering Priaulx, all pursued him hard to the end of the race.

Gabriele Tarquini Alfa Romeo 156 Gta
Dirk Müller BMW 320i
Jörg Muller BMW 320i
Nicola Larini Alfa Romeo 156 Gta
Fabrizio Giovanardi BMW 320i
Andy Priaulx BMW 320i
Duncan Huisman BMW 320i
Roberto Colciago Alfa Romeo 156 Gta
Paolo Ruberti Alfa Romeo 156 Gta
Fabio Francia Alfa Romeo 156 Gta

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