WTCC » 1 January 1901
Coronel takes maiden WTCC win.
Having lost position to Farfus, Rydell was struggling to keep his position and in the space of two laps, he lost out to Priaulx, Hernandez and D'Aste to slip to eighth place. The quickest man on the track meanwhile was James Thompson who was working his way through the field after his race one disappointment.
On lap eight, Farfus took second from Monteiro and started to chase down Coronel while Yvan Muller lost fifth to Hernandez as his chances of securing the title started to disappear. On lap nine, the Frenchman also slipped behind D'Aste as the two Independent BMWs took full advantage of the conditions.
Hernandez was harrying Priaulx for fourth place but before he was able to make a move for position, the defending champion got ahead of Monteiro into a podium place. Hernandez tried to follow him through on the following lap but Monteiro fought back as the pair headed down to the hairpin at the end of the back straight.
D'Aste however saw a chance to pass both drivers and went for the inside but went in to hot and hit Monteiro, having somehow managed to avoid Hernandez. Monteiro and D'Aste both ran wide, the latter having lost a front-wheel and they weren't the only ones to go through the gravel as Priaulx had outbraked himself into the corner and was recovering onto the track himself.
While the top two positions remained unchanged, Hernandez now found himself in third place while Thompson was suddenly fourth as, having got up into the points, he took advantage of the problems ahead of him to fourth. Rob Huff has also made the most of the incident to go fifth with Yvan Muller sixth, Monteiro seventh and Rydell eighth.
With just three laps remaining, Farfus was with Coronel and the SUNRED man did well while lapping the BMW of Masaki Kano to force the Brazilian out of a potential passing move exiting the final corner.
That gave Coronel some breathing space through the penultimate lap, but Farfus quickly closed the gap and on the final lap, the BMW was swarming all over the rear of the SEAT, Into the final corners, Farfus briefly got alongside but Coronel was able to hold on to secure the win by less than a tenth of a second.
Hernandez took third overall and a vital Independents win to leave him as firm favourite for the title heading to Macau with double points on offer, while Thompson, Huff, Muller, Monteiro and Felix Porteiro rounded out the points scorers.
It means Muller heads to Macau with a 14 point lead over team-mate Tarquini with the two SEAT men the only ones now able to lift the title.
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