31 August 2008
Oschersleben 2008: Porteiro powers to victory.
Felix Porteiro has taken his second career World Touring Car victory after making the most of his reverse grid pole position to lead from lights to flag.
The Spaniard, who has now moved into outside title contention as the second best placed BMW in the championship, used his rear-wheel drive superiority off the line to edge into the first corner and simply drive away to victory.
Only brief pressure came courtesy of Tom Coronel, who recovered from difficult start to the weekend to claim seventh in the first race and therefore earn second on the grid.
He was lucky to avoid the drama going on behind though when the field piled into the tight left-right combination for the first corner. Contact was inevitable, with Tiago Monteiro, James Thompson, Augusto Farfus, Alex Zanardi, Rickard Rydell, Ibrahim Okyay and Olivier Tielemans all getting caught up with one another. Monteiro and Thompson would be out on the spot.
Up at the front, Coronel was under pressure from Rob Huff, the Brit making a great start to be running third from second on the grid. However, while the Chevrolet driver attempted to harass Coronel into an error, the experienced Dutchman remained steadfast.
Despite having always been a figure in the WTCC since its modern-era debut in 2005, second place marks Coronel's best result yet, while it is also a landmark performance for rookie SUNRED outfit too.
Huff finished in third place after disposing of a stubborn Jordi Gene, the Spaniard using his TDI engine to keep most of his rivals at bay. He crossed the line in fourth after resisting the pressure of Andy Priaulx, up from 27th on the grid, and Farfus.
Sergio Hernandez claimed Independents' Trophy honours after finishing in seventh place overall, although the Spaniard looked like he could have been capable of something even better when he ran fourth early on. Nonetheless, a double privateer win puts him well in charge of that championship now.
Yvan Muller, meanwhile, scored the final point in eighth on a difficult weekend for the heavy SEATs. Luckily for him, none of his title rivals scored particularly well so he heads to the next round at Imola with a slightly extended two-point lead over non-scoring Gabriele Tarquini, while Priaulx is now third on 53 points and Rickard Rydell fourth on 51.
However, what Oschersleben has done is lift more unfancied names into the reckoning, with Huff and Porteiro now poised in fifth place sharing 50 points.
Four rounds remain this season, with Imola up next, followed Monza in Italy and Okayama in Japan before the traditional season finale at Macau.
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