Gené wins, Muller joins Priaulx

Gené wins, Muller joins Priaulx

07.10.2007: Gené wins, Muller joins Priaulx

WTCC Marriott Race of Italy – Autodromo di Monza – 6 / 7 October 2007

ROUNDS 19 & 20 – MONZA, ITALY RACE 2 REPORT
Weather: sunny, with a dry track
Crowd: 52,000 over the two days

In front of a large crowd Jordi Gené made it two wins for SEAT Sport this weekend, becoming the 11th driver to have scored a victory this season. The Spaniard started seventh but by lap 4 had captured the lead. Nicola Larini of Chevrolet crossed the line second after defending hard from James Thompson who took his second third place finish of the weekend.

Yvan Muller claimed a fifth place and 4 points that enabled him to join Andy Priaulx on top of the Drivers’ Championship. Four other drivers still have chances to secure the world title in Macau: Augusto Farfus, James Thompson, Jörg Müller and Nicola Larini, who are 10, 12, 15 and 20 points behind the leaders respectively.

The Manufacturers’ Championship is also closely fought, with BMW leading SEAT by 10 only points.

Farfus’ race ended prematurely at the first chicane after he and Gabriele Tarquini made contact. The Brazilian’s BMW was sent into a spin, bounced off the barrier and slid across the track, narrowly escaping a collision with the fast moving field. Tarquini retired two laps later. On lap 3 Larini took the lead from his team-mate Rob Huff. Alain Menu was in the thick of the action and despite reaching fifth, he retired on lap 5.

Lap 4 saw Gené promote himself to the front of the pack after he overtook Huff and Larini. Huff then had to defend from James Thompson but it was to no avail as the Alfa Romeo driver took the podium position on the next lap.

Huff eventually finished fourth. Alessandro Zanardi and Tom Coronel fought a tough battle throughout the race but it was Zanardi who conquered as he crossed the line 0.046 seconds ahead of the Dutchman to claim sixth.

Jörg Müller and Priaulx had a scoreless weekend. Müller’s race ended on lap 5 after an incident with Corthals. In a similar scenario as his team-mate Farfus, Müller spun and became stranded on the track. Priaulx’s race was somewhat shorter than his BMW colleague’s as he retired in the pits after lap 1 after obtaining damage.

The Independents’ Trophy race was won by Pierre-Yves Corthals who managed to win a close fight with Stefano D’Aste. Race 1 winner Luca Rangoni was involved in a first lap incident and retired. The Championship will resume at Macau, for the two final rounds, on November 18th.

 

THREE DRIVERS DROPPED ON THE GRID

Three drivers received a drop of ten places on the grid for the second race: Roberto Colciago, Tiago Monteiro and Olivier Tielemans.

They were all penalised further to their teams requesting neutralization of the parc fermé in order to repair damage obtained during the first race.

 

 

THEY SAID, THEY SAID…

 

Jordi GENÉ

"Every year I’ve won a race but I didn’t think I would this season. This weekend it was my time. When I had the chance in Race 2 I thought: it’s now or never. I pushed so hard I think I bent my brake pedal at the end of the straight!

When I was standing on the podium with the crowd on the trackcheering it made me hope the series continues to grow and that I am a part of it for many years to come.

This is the closest championship I have ever seen so Macau is set to be a good fight."

 

Nicola LARINI

"I was lucky to avoid Augusto (Farfus) when he crashed. I had to move onto the grass and he came very close to hitting me. There was a period in the middle of the race where I felt I could overtake Gené but the yellow flags prevented me.

I am going to Macau to win my first race of the season. I don’t think I can win the championship but I can certainly improve my position."

 

James THOMPSON

"This championship is so close that to make the podium twice is immensely satisfying. As a team we have so much passion we have managed to close the gap in the championship.

It shouldn’t be underestimated what a task it has been and I’m proud to be a part of it."

 

Yvan MULLER

"It has been a perfect weekend because I was 14 points behind the lead in the championship before coming here and now I am joint leader. To make up that many points in one weekend is something special. In Race 2 I couldn’t have gone any faster.

I had to avoid Farfus’ crash as well as many others so fifth was enough for me."

 

Pierre-Yves CORTHALS

"The second race was tough because there were a lot of crashes I needed to avoid. I was passed by D’Aste during the race but managed to reclaim the position after pushing hard."

 

Andy PRIAULX

"This weekend’s races are to be forgotten and I’m going to Macau leading the championship with every chance of winning.

BMW don’t like losing so I’m sure there will be five weeks of hard work in preparation for the final round." 

 

- Fabio Ravaioli -  photos FIA WTCC

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07.10.2007 / MaP

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