Tarquini and Priaulx share victories in WTCC, Marrakech
Gabriele Tarquini and Andy Priaulx shared victories today in Marrakech, coming home safe after two races that were spoiled by a number of crashes and safety car periods.
In the first race the reigning world champion and his SEAT León TDI car took the lead at the start and benefitted from the fight for second to build a small gap that proved crucial the moment that the race was frozen by the safety car for good.
In race 2 Priaulx made the most out of his pole position on the reverse grid to take command. Two different crashes on laps 1 and 7 chaged the race into a procession behind the safety car until the very last lap in which Priaulx sprinted to BMW’s first victory of the season beating Chevrolet’s Yvan Muller by a small margin.
It was a sweet and sour weekend for Chevrolet as they obtained two second places with Rob Huff and Muller, but saw Alain Menu and Huff both eliminated in massive crashes in Race 2. This also meant that SEAT Customers Technology took the lead in the Manufacturers’ Championship, while Tarquini’s win and sixth position propelled him on top of the Drivers’ Championship with 70 points from Muller (63) and Huff (46).
BMW drivers also won the two Independents’ races. Franz Engstler and local hero Mehdi Bennani encored their successes from last year with the only difference that they swapped Race 1 and 2.
Fredy Barth dominated both races in the Rookie Challenge. Not only was the Swiss driver able to score twice in the overall championship, but he also set the fastest lap in Race 1.