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Farfus wins as Tarquini crowned in Macau

22 November 2009

Augusto Farfus has secured victory in the final race of the World Touring Car Championship season in Macau although fifth place was enough to make Gabriele Tarquini the oldest winner of an FIA world title.

After a surprisingly quiet opening race of the weekend, the season finale failed to run to its conclusion after a huge accident on the eighth lap which brought out the red flags, with the decision eventually taken not to restart proceedings.

From pole, Farfus led the way from the start ahead of BMW team-mate Jorg Muller, with Yvan Muller slotting into third place as he looked to overhaul his SEAT partner Tarquini for the title. Tarquini meanwhile survived the opening lap to lie in seventh but needed to make up further places to get ahead of Muller for the title.

As Farfus tried to make a break for it out front, Jorg Muller was under pressure from Yvan Muller behind but the race went under caution on the third lap when Tom Boardman crashed at the Solitude Esses while battling for the lead of the Independents' category. Fellow Independent Kristian Poulsen had also crashed out earlier in the lap at Lisboa.

The race resumed on the seventh lap with Tarquini quickly getting ahead of team-mate Jordi Gene into fifth place having inherited sixth when the Chevrolet of Alain Menu pitted while the Safety Car was on track. That put the Italian back in a position that would see him crowned champion, with Muller needing to get ahead of the BMW pair out front to stand any chance of making it back-to-back titles.

The Frenchman's hopes however came to an end on the eighth lap with a huge accident at the final bend, with Felix Porteiro sliding wide into the barriers and coming to rest on the racing line exiting the corner. Franz Engstler was unable to avoid the Spaniard's car and was then collected by the SEAT of Andre Couto which forced Engstler's BMW into the air before the two cars came to a halt almost blocking the circuit.

The race was immediately red-flagged to allow the damaged cars to be cleared away while Engstler also required medical attention having been seen struggling to stay on his feet after being helped from his car.

Initialliy, the race looked like it would restart but just as the drivers returned to their cars for the restart, the decision was taken to call the result, handing race victory to Farfus ahead of Jorg and Yvan Muller. Tiago Monteiro was fourth while fifth for Tarquini was enough to give him the title.

Jordi Gene took sixth while Nicola Larini saw his time in the WTCC come to an end with seventh place, despite the Italian being taken out of the action at Lisboa at the start of the eighth lap when he was collected by a late-braking Alex Zanardi. However, the result was declared as at the end of lap seven, ensuring Larini ended his WTCC career with a points finish. Race one winner Rob Huff was eighth ahead of Zanardi, while Rickard Rydell rounded out the top ten.

Porteiro clinched the Independents' win thanks to the countback, while the results of the race were enough to ensure that SEAT added the manufacturers' title to Tarquini's drivers' crown.

To view results, CLICK HERE.


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