The motor sport fan looking for early season action would have found little reason to come out of hibernation in today’s two WTCC races from Curitiba in Brazil.
If Seat’s domination today continues throughout 2009 it’ll be another season to sleep through.
The Leon turbo diesels filled the top four places in both races. Reigning champion Yvan Muller won the first race and Gabriele Tarquini the second, just as they had in 2008.
The second race was nearly enlivened by a heavy rain storm that fell before the start, causing the organisers to delay the start. The race began behind the safety car and the Leons moved to the front of the pack with little opposition from the BMW 3 Series.
The second event was enlivened by Felix Porteiro bundling BMW team mateSergio Hernandez into a spin. Over the winter Hernandez had replaced Porteiro in the BMW Team Italy-Spain works car, bumping Porteiro down into the independent-run Proteam car.
Despite starting the second race from the front row Andy Priaulx fell out of the points, his 320si still carrying the battle scars from the pummeling he had taken from team mate Jorg Muller in race one. Muller drove magnificently in the second race, rising from 20th on the grid to claim a points finish.
But the long radius curves and high altitude of Curitiba suited the Leons down to the ground, and we can expect more of the same at the similar Puebla venue in Mexico in two weeks’ time.