Muller wins first WTCC race in Sonoma

Yvan Muller for Chevrolet won the first WTCC race in the US with victory in Sonoma.

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Yvan Muller for Chevrolet won the first WTCC race in the US with victory in Sonoma.

Rob Huff secured a 1-2 for the American manufacturer on the home soil and Norbert Michelisz finished third, winning the Yokohama Trophy.

The first laps were action-packed, with the contact between Alain Menu and Gabriele Tarquini at the start and the fight for the lead between the Chevrolet trio.

After Menu vanished from the top positions, Michelisz was putting the pressure on the leading duo of Muller and Huff, while Tarquini was defending his fourth position from Alex MacDowall.

Behind them a quartet of BMW drivers delivered another close fight, and Tom Coronel managed to finish in eighth after starting 20th.

In terms of Drivers’ Championship, Muller made another small step towards the title.

Key moments

Start – Menu and Tarquini make contact at Turn 2, Tarquini drops from second to fifth

Lap 1 – pile up at Turn 2 involves D’Aste, Dudukalo, O’Young, Chilton, Monje and Cerqui

Lap 2 – Monteiro overtakes Engstler for seventh; Nash overtakes Bennani for ninth

Lap 3 – Menu, Muller and Huff fight for the lead, fender to fender; Ng spins and rejoins

Lap 4 – Muller and Huff dive inside Menu at Turn 6; Menu drops to third and then slows down

Lap 5 – Menu pits for repairs; Bennani overtakes Nash for ninth

Lap 6 – Tarquini is closely chased by MacDowall; Nash drops down with technical problems

Lap 7 – Coronel hits Bennani who cuts a chicane

Lap 8 – Coronel dives inside Bennani at Turn 6, the collide and Bennani spins

Lap 11 – Oriola’s car stall on the straight, the Spaniard loses his tenth position

Lap 12 – Monteiro chases MacDowall for fifth

Lap 13 – Muller wins from Huff

Withdrawals

A. Dudukalo: race incident; A. Cerqui: race incident; F. Monje: race incident

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