Rob Huff won the opening World Touring Car Championship race in Macau to take the fight for the title to the wire as main rival Yvan Muller followed him home in second. Much of the race took place behind the safety car and there were a number of incidents including another which eliminated André Couto and Alain Menu on the opening lap.
In the Yokohama Independents, Kristian Poulsen has provisionally secured the title after finishing third in the category – Michel Nykjaer secured the honours in the opening race and can draw level with Poulsen but the Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320TC driver has more victories in the Independent category.
The rolling start saw the field waved through twice – and on the second attempt, it took just two corners before the carnage ensued.
Andre Couto in the SUNRED SR Leon 1.6T went into the wall at Mandarin and spun across the field, and took out the third Chevrolet of Alain Menu – Couto recovered to the pits while Menu was out on the spot.
At the end of lap four, the Safety car was withdrawn but just a lap later, it was back out on track after Darryl O’Young and Mehdi Bennani came together on the run from Lisboa to San Francisco Hill – Bennani looked to dive to the inside and O’Young closed the door just too late – moments earlier, Tiago Monteiro missed his braking point for Lisboa and ran into the run off area.
The third restart happened at the end of lap seven and the top two made a break from Tarquini immediately – Muller was looking for a way ahead of Huff but the British driver refused to concede, forcing Muller to look to the outside.
Further back, Alexsei Dudukalo was in the wall at Moorish Hill – having ripped a wheel off earlier in the lap, he attempted to make the corner but went nose first into the wall – which made the corner a yellow flag zone for the remainder of the race.
The final three laps saw Muller pressurising Huff on the flat out section of the lap but dropping back on the slower, mountain section of the lap – heading into Lisboa on the final lap, Muller made slight contact which cost him time and dropped back from Huff, while third place Tarquini was in a race of his own.
Huff has closed the gap to thirteen points heading into the final race – Huff starts third while Muller lines up eighth. For Huff, he has to outscore Muller by fourteen points to secure his maiden crown – if Muller makes it up as high as fourth, it is his Championship.
In the Jay-Ten trophy, Joseph Rosa-Merszei secured the honours for Liqui Moly Team Engstler.