Yvan Muller grabs World Touring Car points lead with victory at Valencia

Yvan Muller took the first race win and the World Touring Car Championship lead at Valencia, heading a Chevrolet Cruze one-two ahead of Alain Menu, as Rob Huff's title aspirations - quite literally - took a blow

Yvan Muller grabs World Touring Car points lead with victory at Valencia

In a thrilling start, Gabriele Tarquini edged his SEAT Leon down the inside of poleman Muller, with Huff making it three-wide into Turn 1. Despite braking the latest, Muller could not hold off Tarquini's advances, and the former champion sealed the deal over the reigning champion at Turn 2.

Muller now had to defend from Huff, who had wisely backed out of the three-wide moment as he was on the outside. At Turn 4, Huff was again on the outside of Muller, but as he attempted to file through behind him, he was punted from behind by Menu - who himself had been shoved by Tiago Monteiro (SEAT).

Huff slid wildly across the infield, dropping back to 11th. Menu (who caught his own slide superbly) was initially given a drive-through for the contact, until the stewards realised Monteiro's involvement and 'suspended' the penalty.

Tarquini could only hold on for a couple of laps at the front, with Muller pulling off a perfect outbraking move at Turn 2. Tarquini dropped back into the clutches of Menu, who moved ahead of him when the SEAT slowed on lap 7. Tarquini's technical problem looked intermittent, but it eventually sent him pitward three laps later.

Tom Coronel (ROAL BMW) sealed his place on the podium with a neat move on Monteiro, who would slip back to eighth by the finish. Engstler BMW's Kristian Poulsen was next home in fourth, ahead of the recovering Huff, who pulled off a brilliant pass on Monteiro and Javier Villa (Proteam BMW) in one move at Turn 12.

Villa tracked Huff right to the finish, while also holding the Zengo Dension BMW of Norbert Michelisz at bay. Robert Dahlgren came through to finish ninth from 17th in the Volvo.

Results - 14 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Yvan Muller Chevrolet 25m39.052s 2. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 1.103s 3. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 6.345s 4. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW + 9.961s 5. Rob Huff Chevrolet + 15.404s 6. Javier Villa Proteam BMW + 15.630s 7. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW + 16.206s 8. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT + 16.665s 9. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo + 16.777s 10. Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW + 17.139s 11. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT + 18.962s 12. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT + 23.362s 13. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT + 26.603s 14. Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet + 28.955s 15. Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet + 44.967s 16. Fabio Fabiani Proteam BMW + 1m37.597s Retirements: Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT 10 laps David Sigacev KK BMW 10 laps Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT 10 laps Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 9 laps Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 4 laps 
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Yvan Muller scorches to World Touring Car pole position at Valencia
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Yvan Muller scorches to World Touring Car pole position at Valencia

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Yvan Muller grabs race two win as BMW challenge self-destructs

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