Chevrolet’s Alain Menu took victory in the first World Touring Car race at Porto this afternoon, leading Chevrolet team-mates Yvan Muller and Rob Huff accross the line.
Having started from pole position Menu led the entire race to take his third win of the season. The result marks Chevrolet’s third 1-2-3 finish of the season and moves Menu closer to points leader Huff.
It was a relatively uneventful race around the streets of Porto with overtaking scarce. However local driver Tiago Monteiro made the most of contact between Gabriele Tarquini and Rob Huff in front to take fourth position and hold it to the finish.
Tarquini himself managed to hold on to finish in fifth, although he continues to fall away from the championship leaders having only taken two podium finishes so far this year.
Tom Coronel was a lonely sixth – the Dutchman having started and finished the race from the same position. Volvo’s Robert Dahlgren finished in seventh and had a similarly uneventful race.
Norbert Michelisz, who finished 8th, was the top Yokohama Trophy driver. Just half a second behind at the flag was Michel Nykjaer, the Danish driver having pressured heavily towards the end but ultimately been unable to find a way past. Nykjaer had earlier passed WTCC returnee Stefano D’Aste for ninth on the third lap. D’Aste would go on to finish in 10th position in his first race of the 2011 season.
Kristian Poulsen had been fighting to get into the top ten but was ultimately unable to do so and had to settle for 11th, just ahead of Franz Engstler.
Javier Villa Garcia brought out the yellow flags on lap seven after he crashed at turn 7. The Spanish driver had been running in 12th position.