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RML battles to double Austrian podium

Yvan Muller extended his Championship lead after two battling drives during Rounds 9 and 10 of the 2013 World Touring Car Championship, held at the Salzburgring.

Having qualified on Pole Position for the first race of the weekend, the Frenchman was demoted 12 places on the grid for the opening race after being penalised for his part in the chaos at the end of the second part of qualifying.

He fought his way up the order in round nine to finish third and complete an all Chevrolet podium lock out, as Michel Nykjær in the Nika Racing Cruze and James Nash in the bamboo engineering car finished 1st and 2nd.

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Muller lined up 10th for the second race and was able to secure his second podium of the weekend and the RML Group saw their cars finish 1-2 as Nash in the bamboo car secured his and the teams’ first outright WTCC victory.

His Austrian results have seen the Frenchman further extend his Championship advantage; he holds an 80 point advantage over his nearest rival, Gabriele Tarquini in the Honda.

“At the end of the day I am pleased with this weekend, especially for the fantastic job of the Team,” said Muller. “The key to the performance is the Team and the way they work. The ambience and the attention to detail is fantastic.”

Team-mate Tom Chilton started 15th after his penalty for the qualifying issue and he fought his way back up to finish 7th in the opening race, while race two didn’t go the British drivers’ way as he was forced wide at the first chicane and had to pit for repairs.

He returned to the race but with the damaged sustained, he spent the final six laps cruising around at a gentle pace.

“It’s been a tough time in Austria,” added Chilton.

”It’s nice that we were bang on the pace all weekend which is the good thing to take with me to Moscow. I really enjoyed the first race coming from 15th and the battles we had but am disappointed to have dropped back in the Championship.”

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