Yvan Muller moved within four points of the championship lead with another victory in the Seat Leon TDi at Monza.
His chances of winning the title were doubly boosted when championship leader Andy Priaulx was hit from behind at the first corner by Roberto Colciago. The heavy impact badly damaged the rear of the BMW.
Muller was struggling with his brakes towards the end of the race and was fortunate to have team mate Jordi Gene on hand to keep James Thompson’s Alfa Romeo at bay.
Behind Thompson were Nicola Larini, Alain Menu and Gabriele Tarquini.
Augusto Farfus finished seventh which was a boost to title hopes, especially as it will put his fast-starting BMW on the front row of the grid alongside Rob Huff, who finished eighth.
Yvan Muller actually failed to make it back to the pits in his car after the, as he picked up a puncture on the slowing down lap.
Priaulx still has 81 points in the championship, Yvan Muller 77, Farfus 71 and Jorg Muller 66 with three races remaining.