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Tarquini top for SR-Sport in second Curitiba race

7 March 2010

Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini was victorious for SR-Sport in the second World Touring Car Championship race of the weekend in Curitiba.

Tarquini took the lead on lap 4, when he passed his team-mate Jordi Gene on the inside line through the Esse de Baixa. Tarquini and Gene then began to pull away from the Chevrolets of Alain Menu, Yvan Muller and Rob Huff. In the end Tarquini took P1 by 1.276 seconds, while Menu was 5.407 seconds further back in third.

“We have no team orders so it was a great race. I had a tough time over the winter but in qualifying the car was great,” Tarquini told the official WTCC website. “The plan was to get a podium and maybe a win and I did that so it's a fantastic start to the season.

“The SR-Sport team have done a great job. I feel really satisfied and this victory is special. Last year I knew I could fight for the title but this year my plan is to score some victories and the first one is here.”

Despite having to settle for the runners-up spot, Gene was pleased with P2 after his dramas in the first race: “It is fantastic to score here,” he commented. “I was disappointed going off twice in Race 1 so in the second race I was very conscious I needed to not make a mistake.”

Away from the top-two, Menu and Muller were third and fourth, while Huff hung on to take fifth - despite coming under pressure late on from Augusto Farfus, Tiago Monteiro and Michel Nykjaer. Nykjaer incidentally took the Rookie Challenge honours.

“It is fantastic for me,” said Nykjaer. “It's my first time in WTCC and at Curitiba, so this was a very good result for me. It's very nice.”

Norbert Michelisz and Sergio Hernandez completed the top ten, the latter the best of the Independent runners again – although this time Franz Engstler made him work for it over the closing laps.

“I was fighting for the whole race so I think it was more difficult than Race 1, but we managed to stay in front,” Hernandez commented.

Tom Coronel and Andy Priaulx meanwhile both failed to finish. Coronel had a bad start and ended up in the gravel at turn one after contact with Huff. He then crept back to the pits and into retirement. Priaulx also went out early on after contact with fellow BMW Team RBM man Augusto Farfus.

Andrei Romanov did not start the second race in his Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320si after damage sustained in the opener.

To view the results, CLICK HERE


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