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Rob Huff wins chaotic final race in Macau

Münnich Motorsport’s Rob Huff won a chaotic, twice red-flagged, final World Touring Car Championship race of the season in Macau, fending off a late charge from Pepe Oriola and Tom Coronel.

Click here for the full Round 24 Results.

Oriola will be under investigation for a number of incidents – while James Nash secured the final Yokohama Independents victory of the season in fourth overall.

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The first of two red flags came about after a multi-car incident which took out Norbert Michelisz, Hugo Valente, Mehdi Bennani, Tom Boardman, Stefano D’Aste, Konstantins Calko, Mikhail Kozlovskiy and Darryl O’Young at the first corner. Michelisz had dived to the inside of Tom Chilton – he was chasing an outright top five Championship finish – and collided with the RML driver before the ensuing mayhem forced the race to be suspended.

Once the race was restarted after a lengthy delay which saw the grid positions reset to their original order, Coronel attempted to make a break. Second-placed Thompson, who was chasing LADA’s best result in the WTCC, defended his second position from Nash behind him.

Race one winner Yvan Muller had a visit to the barrier as he started to climb up San Francisco Hill after contact with Tiago Monteiro. The incident brought about the end of Monteiro’s race due to damage with his Honda’s wheel and brakes as a result of the incident.

The second red-flag of the race was caused when Chilton slowed with exhaust damage and was collected by Eurico De Jesus’ Honda Accord. With the track partically blocked and the field filing by one-by-one, the safety car was deployed. However several guest drivers in the Asia Trophy failed to obey the yellow flags and entered the corner flat-out, causing several additional accidents.

Out of the race in the incident were Charles Kaki Ng, Michael Soong, Joseph rosa Merszei and Yukinori Taniguchi, whilst Filipe Clemente de Souza also ploughed into the back of Muller’s Chevrolet although the latter two had their cars repaired during the long second stoppage.

Once the race went live again for the final four laps, Huff moved into second at Mandarin while Nash took third at Lisboa from Thompson. Thompson was then konkced into the barrier at Maternity bend as Oriola tried an ambitious move and collected the LADA driver.

Huff took the lead at Lisboa from Coronel on lap nine despite collecting the wall on the previous tour, and then controlled the race as he secured his sixth Macau win and second win of the season in the SEAT. Huff’s win was the second for a SEAT at Macau in the WTCC.

Oriola moved into second on the penultimate lap from Coronel, and closed on the tail of Huff but didn’t get close enough to challenge Huff for the victory.

Muller, having had his car rebuilt, secured sixth on the final lap with a move into San Francisco Hill on Marc Basseng while Gabriele Tarquini, who started from the pitlane and was handed a drive-through penalty during the race, secured a ninth place finish.

Alex MacDowall followed home Nash for a top five finish while the top ten was completed by Franz Engstler in eighth and Henry Ho in 10th, Ho bringing home the older BMW 320si home as the top Eurosport Asia driver.

Out of the 33 starters for the final round of the 2013 WTCC, 15 drivers finished.

Huff’s win secured him fourth in the Championship while Nash secured himself a top three Championship finish. Chilton, who had arrived with a chance of finishing second to team-mate Muller finished fifth overall.

The result remains provisional pending numerous Stewards’ enquiries, with nine drivers under investigation.

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