Rob Huff hunts down Yvan Muller for Porto WTCC race two victory
|By Mark Glendenning||Sunday, July 3rd 2011, 16:33 GMT|
Rob Huff has taken a dramatic win in the second World Touring Car race around the streets of Porto after closing down a large gap to pass Chevrolet team-mate Yvan Muller.
Muller had taken the lead from polesitter Stefano d'Aste on lap three and set about building an advantage while Huff tried to find his own way past the Wiechers-Sport BMW. He got past a lap later, however by then Muller was already 2.5 seconds down the road.
Huff took 0.5s out of the Frenchman's lead on a single lap, did the same next time round, and then took a full second out of him on the lap after that.
What had seemed like a foregone conclusion had turned into a proper scrap that was settled when Huff had a lunge at one of the chicanes, the pair belted into each other, and the Briton skidded over the chicane and into the lead. With a clear track ahead, he took off and crossed the line 1.7s clear of his team-mate.
D'Aste was removed from the equation when he was issued a drive-through penalty for jumping the start, which moved Tiago Monteiro (SUNRED SEAT) up into third. The leaders were long gone by that point, but Monteiro's podium still drew an enthusiastic reaction from the locals.
A final moment of drama awaited d'Aste when he was punted through some bollards by a last-lap hit from Mehdi Bennani; an incident that was being investigated by the stewards at time of writing.
That aside, the race passed mostly without incident, although Robert Dahlgren was lucky not to trigger an accident when his Polestar Volvo bogged down on the line at the start, forcing the field to swerve around him.
Race one winner Alain Menu's fears of not being able to do much from eighth on the grid proved to be realised, with his final position of sixth about as much as the Chevrolet driver could have hoped for on a circuit where overtaking is so difficult.
Norbert Michelisz completed a clean sweep of Independent class wins for the weekend in his Zengo Dension BMW.
Results - 11 laps: Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Rob Huff Chevrolet 23m24.533s 2. Yvan Muller Chevrolet + 1.797s 3. Tiago Monteiro SUNRED SEAT + 8.728s 4. Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW + 9.752s 5. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW + 10.059s 6. Alain Menu Chevrolet + 11.114s 7. Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED SEAT + 12.849s 8. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW + 19.474s 9. Darryl O'Young Chevrolet + 24.147s 10. Fredy Barth SUNRED SEAT + 25.787s 11. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW + 28.161s 12. Stefano D'Aste Wiechers BMW + 30.250s 13. Michel Nykjaer SUNRED SEAT + 34.399s 14. Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED SEAT + 37.373s 15. Pepe Oriola SUNRED SEAT + 37.950s 16. Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet + 38.735s 17. Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo + 39.365s 18. Javier Villa Proteam BMW + 41.084s 19. Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW + 1m53.447s