6 April 2008
Puebla 2008: Gene converts pole.
Seat's Jordi Gene led from pole to secure victory in Puebla, Mexico, with his only real challenge for victory coming from Chevrolet's Nicola Larini on the first lap.
Gene's team mate, Rickard Rydell managed an incredible start, jumping from sixth to second place – where he remained for the rest of the race – during the first corner scramble.
Diesel power dominated the race, with only the third-placed Chevrolet of Larini managing to break up what would have been an uninterrupted group of oil-burning Seat Leons. The next petrol-powered car after the Italian was the 8th-placed Lacetti of Alain Menu, who was overtaken in the final moments by the Seats of Muller and Monteiro after he ran desperately wide, meaning he starts the second race from pole position. The Swiss was followed home, four tenths of a second later by the third Chevrolet of Rob Huff.
A disappointing weekend for BMW started badly after the 3-Series of Zanardi, Muller, Priaulx and Portiero got involved in a scuffle in the middle of the pack on the first lap but Priaulx would end up leading the BMW charge – coming home in tenth place – ahead of a struggling Farfus.
Unable to keep up with the diesel-powered Seats, or the Chevrolets, BMWs appeared in 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st places.
Robert Huff finished ninth in the Chevrolet, following an eventful race. He tangled with Yvan Muller in the first laps, which damaged his wheel and caused him to lose places. However, he fought back and overtook Augusto Farfus to finish just behind his team mate.
As the previous sessions of the weekend have shown, the BMW cars struggled again in the race. Several were involved in 'incidents' and others, including Farfus, simply lacked the pace of Seat and Chevrolet.
Pierre-Yves Corthals won the Independents' class; he had begun the race from pole position, but had problems at the start with cars bumping into him. He struggled for grip on the track, leaving the racetrack in the final laps, but managed to stay ahead of closest rival Stefano D'Aste to finish twelfth overall.
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