WTCC: Muller and Huff round off season with wins in Macau
Macau, Chaina, Rounds 23 & 24 – It seems like Yvan Muller and Rob Huff are united by a strange – and benevolent – fate. They have been team-mates for long time at Chevrolet, they handed each-other the WTCC title (from Muller to Huff and back).
Today in Macau they were facing the last races with their respective teams – RML and ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport – before moving to Citroën Racing and LADA Sport respectively. And they both managed to leave with a victory.
Mulller won the first race in a very dominant way, something that has become his own trademark, while Huff responded in Race 2 with a number of thrilling overtaking manoeuvres and claimed his sixth victory in the WTCC Guia Race.
The fight for the second position in the Drivers’ Championship was not decided on the track. Gabriele Tarquini – who had a 25-point margin – was sidelined by an engine failure that came out during the warm up, which left Tom Chilton with the opportunity to fill the gap. However, the Englishman crashed during the first race and this not only cost him the second place but also promoted a delighted James Nash to third in the overall classification.
Nash also clinched the Yokohama Trophy title ahead of his bamboo-engineering team-mate Alex MacDowall. And they celebrated by winning one race apiece today.
The new Asia Trophy went to Yukinori Taniguchi who built this success step by step, sealing last minute deals for Shanghai and Macau and becoming the first driver in WTCC history to race for three different teams and in three different cars.
As it usually happens in Macau, drivers and teams paid a dear toll in terms of damage. If the first race was rather smooth, the second one turned into a carnage with two massive pile ups that eliminated 17 cars out of 33! Luckily this happened on the last race of the season…
RACE 1 – MULLER CRUISES TO VICTORY
Yvan Muller took another of his famous lights to flag victories. The 2013 World Champion took the lead from pole position and bid farewell to the rest of the field.
Behind him Tiago Monteiro defended his second place keeping at bay Rob Huff, despite the Briton’s car was faster on the straight. Norbert Michelisz finished fourth ahead of the bamboo-engineering duo of Alex MacDowall – who won the Yokohama Trophy race – and James Nash who clinched the Yokohama Trophy title.
On the last lap Marc Basseng won the fight with Pepe Oriola for seventh; Yukinori Taniguchi finished on top of the Asia Trophy beating Michael Soong.
RACE 2 – HUFF WINS AFTER CARNAGE
Rob Huff claimed an amazing victory in a race that saw the field decimated by two massive pile-ups.
Tom Coronel was able to benefit from pole position and lead for most of the race, but the double red-flag and the two restarts behind the safety car gave an advantage to the SEAT and Chevrolet cars that were faster than the BMW on the straight. Eventually Huff jumped into the lead with only two laps left, while Pepe Oriola also managed to strip Coronel of second position.
For most of the race James Thompson and LADA cherished the dream of claiming the Russian manufacturers’ first podium, as the Briton was second behind Coronel. However Thompson lost two positions to Huff and Nash after the second restart and eventually was punted off by Oriola.
James Nash finished fourth ahead of his team-mate Alex MacDowall, and the pair gave bamboo-engineering a 1-2 finish in the Yokohama Trophy.
Among those who survived the carnage, Henry Ho finished in tenth position, claiming his first WTCC point and winning the Asia Trophy race.