Yvan Muller made it two victories out of two as he won the second World Touring Car race of the day at Donington Park this afternoon. Muller, who started from tenth, once again led team-mate Rob Huff to the finish – gradually closing the gap on the points leader.
The key moment for the lead came on the second lap – Huff, defending against Muller for sixth, was tapped into the final hairpin, forcing the rear of his car to slide. Muller snuck through, with Huff in pursuit, but the Englishman would be unable to repass the Frenchman for the rest of the race. For his part in the incident, Muller was given a post-race 3-position grid penalty for the next race, which remains suspended for two meetings.
Franz Engstler finished in a career-best third position – also taking his second Yokoham win of the day – in his strongest-ever WTCC meeting. The German driver had earlier led the race for two laps, until being passed by Muller on the fifth lap.
Tom Coronel led the race for the first lap, having started in pole position. However a mistake on the second lap whilst defending from Javier Villa Garcia saw the Dutchman run wide at McLeans, allowing the Spaniard to take the lead. Coronel rejoined in sixth, and fought his way back up to fourth by the end of the race.
There were several incidents early on in the race which all played into the hands of the Chevrolet drivers. However Alain Menu was not as lucky as his team-mates – contact with Villa on the third lap cost him positions and allowed his team-mates to pass. The Swiss driver eventually finished the race in fifth.
Volvo’s Robert Dahlgren fought his way up from the back of the grid once again to finish in sixth, showing strong race-pace in doing so. Gabriele Tarquini, who was running in second early on in the race, eventually finished in seventh having been passed by Muller on the outside into turn one on lap 5.
Contact betweenKristian Poulsen and Norbert Michelisz on lap 8 cost both drivers dear – Poulsen, with extensive damage to the front of his BMW, was effectively out of the race whilst Michelisz could only finish in 12th. Poulsen received a five-place grid drop for the next race in Germany as a result of this incident. Two drivers who benefitted were Darryl O’Young, who took eighth, and Mehdi Bennani who took ninth.
Coming out of the hairpin on the second lap Colin Turkington was spun by Gabriele Tarquini, dropping the Northern Irishman down to 16th position. He recovered throughout the race, but was only into tenth by the end, taking his second championship point of the 2011 season.
Tiago Monteiro once again failed to finish the race due to damage. Michel Nykjaer also went out on the first lap, spearing off into the gravel at Coppice.
Perennial backmarker Fabio Fabiani was noce again excluded from the result after he was found to have not been using the official WTCC fuel.