WTCC Moscow: Nykjaer denies Muller in race two

Michel Nykjaer withstood a late Yvan Muller charge to claim his third win of 2013 in the World Touring Car Championship's Moscow Raceway finale

WTCC Moscow: Nykjaer denies Muller in race two

The Dane had started from an inherited second on the grid, but failed to capitalise and ended up having to defend heavily from the chasing pack.

That tardy getaway allowed polesitter Mehdi Bennani to establish a 1.3-second advantage by the end of the first tour alone, but Nykjaer slowly began reeling the Moroccan in.

By lap four Nykjaer nosed ahead coming out of the final turn, only for Bennani - chasing a maiden series win - to nudge him wide and recapture the advantage.

Three laps later though, Nykjaer made the move stick and then began to pull away from Bennani, who fell into the clutches of the chasing pack.

That had initially been led by Gabriele Tarquini and James Thompson, but both drivers dropped down the order following a five-car spat on lap three.

Tom Coronel had already picked his way past Thompson and then dived past Tarquini in the middle split, meaning the trio went three-wide down the back straight.

They remained in similar formation around the hairpin and onto the pit straight, but behind Rob Huff and Muller were able to get a better run and made it a five-wide fight heading into Turn 1.

Coronel, in the middle, edged right slightly to avoid Muller but ended up sweeping across Tarquini and spinning into Thompson, putting both men into the barriers.

Tarquini withstood the damage but dropped down the order, with Huff and Muller moving into third and fourth respectively.

It stayed like that until, with four laps to go, Huff dived down the inside of Bennani at the final turn, only to run deep and allow the Moroccan and Muller through.

Muller picked off Bennani almost immediately, but then ran out of time to pass Nykjaer, finishing less than half a second down the road.

Huff meanwhile finally claimed third two laps from the finish when Bennani, again forced onto the defensive heading into the final turn, lost his car under braking and span, slipping to 16th.

Pepe Oriola benefited to claim fourth ahead of Norbert Michelisz, Tom Chilton and Tarquini.

Results - 13 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 22m53.698s 2. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet + 0.379s 3. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT + 6.418s 4. Pepe Oriola Tuenti SEAT + 7.494s 5. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda + 8.075s 6. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet + 8.682s 7. Gabriele Tarquini Honda + 9.537s 8. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW + 10.306s 9. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW + 13.427s 10. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet + 14.223s 11. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet + 16.581s 12. Tiago Monteiro Honda + 17.560s 13. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT + 18.776s 14. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 20.716s 15. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 21.031s 16. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 22.834s 17. Nikolai Karamyshev Campos SEAT + 23.852s 18. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT + 24.400s 19. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT + 2 laps Retirements: Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 7 laps James Thompson Lada 4 laps Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1 lap 
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WTCC Moscow: Yvan Muller wins interrupted first race

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About this article

Series WTCC
Drivers Sven Muller
Author Sam Tremayne
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