Yvan Muller wins first Valencia race

Yvan Muller scored his third World Touring Car victory of the season in today's first race at Valencia

Yvan Muller wins first Valencia race

The reigning champion passed SEAT team-mate and polesitter Gabriele Tarquini half way around the first lap and went on to score a comfortable victory.

Tarquini had looked to get back at Muller straight away, but he fell back from the leader and then gave second place away when he ran ride twice in successive corners.

Tiago Monteiro took second from Tarquini but was powerless to run down Muller and head to follow his team-mate home, with Tarquini completing a podium of turbo diesel Leons in third.

Jorg Muller spent every lap of the race in fourth place after making a tremendous start from 11th on the grid, but he slowed over the line on the final lap and finished sixth behind fellow BMW drivers Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx. Farfus had to charge back through the top 10 after he lost time being squeezed onto the grass by Jordi Gene off the line.

Tom Coronel was the first of the independents home in seventh place, while Sergio Hernandez will start this afternoon's second race from the front aftering finishing eighth.

While three of the factory SEATs led the field, the other two had races to forget. Rickard Rydell tapped Alain Menu into Gene at the first corner of the race, with the resulting damage forcing Gene into retirement. Rydell dropped to the back of the field in the incident and could only recover as far as 13th by the end.

Menu's race was also ruined by the first corner contact and he finished 15th. His Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff damaged his car tangling with the independent SEAT of Mehdi Bennani and, after pitting for damage, he had to visit the pits again to serve a drive-through penalty. The third Chevrolet of Nicola Larini ran eighth early in the race, but slipped back to 11th by the end.

Pos Driver Car Gap 1. Yvan Muller SEAT 23m13.675s 2. Tiago Monteiro SEAT +1.884 3. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT +4.157 4. Augusto Farfus BMW +5.364 5. Andy Priaulx BMW +5.855 6. Jorg Muller BMW +5.943 7. Tom Coronel SEAT +8.096 8. Sergio Hernandez BMW +12.106 9. Stefano D'Aste BMW +13.301 10. Felix Porteiro BMW +15.846 11. Nicola Larini Chevrolet +16.461 12. Alex Zanardi BMW +22.528 13. Rickard Rydell SEAT +23.038 14. Mehdi Bennani SEAT +25.385 15. Alain Menu Chevrolet +26.381 16. Franz Engstler BMW +32.002 17. Tom Boardman SEAT +33.042 18. Marin Colak SEAT +33.730 19. Vito Postiglione BMW +34.781 20. Viktor Shapovalov Lada +38.341 21. Jaap van Lagen Lada +1 lap 22. Robert Huff Chevrolet +1 lap Retirements Kirill Ladygin Lada 7 laps Kristian Poulsen BMW 1 lap Jordi Gené SEAT 0 laps Fastest lap, Yvan Muller 1:45.735, on lap 3 
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