WTCC Brno 2: BMW crush rivals again

BMW filled the podium at the second race in Brno just as they had in the first.

There was controversy early in the second Brno race as Alessandro Zanardi, who was waiting to serve a penalty, collided with leader Alain Menu.

Andy Priaulx battled impressively from last on the grid to score points for seventh after some robust overtaking.

Alain Menu’s eighth place in the first race gave him pole for the second. But the grid bay directly behind him was empty – Yvan Muller’s Seat had ground to a halt after the end of the first race with gearbox problems that prevented him from taking the start of the second.

Andy Priaulx would start at the back of the grid along with Tom Coronel. Alessandro Zanardi incurred a stop/go penalty before the race had even begun.

Menu converted his pole into the lead with Gabriele Tarquini following him from second on the grid. The BMWs were quickly on the march, with Zanardi taking third ahead of Augusto Farfus, and Jorg Muller lunging past Nicola Larini on the first lap.

Zanardi, indifferent to his penalty, launched an attack on the leaders on the second lap, seizing second place from Tarquini.

Next he began hounding Menu. The Chevrolet driver locked his rear wheels and Zanardi dived to the inside. Contact was inevitable – Menu crashed out and Zanardi suffered a puncture and dropped down the order.

Next time around the BMWs of Farfus and Muller cruised past Tarquini with cruel ease. But Muller wouldn’t let Farfus get away and passed him at the last corner on lap four.

Out of sight of the cameras Priaulx was slicing through the field. From 25th on the grid he was 18th on lap two, 13th on lap three and tenth on lap four. Incredibly, he was just two places away from scoring points.

He took ninth from Stefano D’Aste on the fifth lap and caught the battling Seats of Tiago Monteiro and Jordi Gene.

On lap seven Tarquini appeared to let Felix Porteiro past for third.

Priaulx’s problem was solved for him on lap eight when Gene lunged at Monteiro and pushed his team mate wide. Priaulx cruised past into seventh with Larini 2.4s ahead.

Priaulx couldn’t catch Larini and the leaders ahead stayed in the same order. Muller lead them home to win for the first time since the first race of the season in Curitiba.

Farfus, second, extends his championship lead and Porteiro took third ahead of Tarquini, James Thompson’s Alfa Romeo and Larini.

WTCC drivers’ championship after round 10

1. Augusto Farfus 53
2. Jorg Muller 49
3. Andy Priaulx 44
4. Nicola Larini 32
5. Yvan Muller 31
6. Gabriele Tarquini 28
7. James Thompson 26
8. Alain Menu 22
9. Felix Porteiro 21
10. Tiago Monteiro 17

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