Gabriele Tarquini helped SEAT to a dominant win for the second race in succession with victory in the second World Touring Car Championship race of the weekend at Curitiba.
Having seen Yvan Muller lead a 1-2-3-4 in the opening race of the weekend, Tarquini ensured the perfect start to the season for the Spanish outfit in a reversal of the result in race one – with Rickard Rydell, Jordi Gene and Muller following the Italian home.
The race itself was delayed by a heavy rain shower shortly before the start and when the conditions had improved enough for the field to leave the grid, the decision was taken to start behind the Safety Car.
After two laps under caution, Felix Porteiro led the field away ahead of Andy Priaulx and Sergio Hernandez, but Tarquini made light work of Augusto Farfus into turn one to go fourth. On the following lap, he managed to get ahead of both Hernandez and Priaulx – the latter clearly struggling in the conditions – and on lap five, he slipped past Porteiro into turn one and was never troubled for the remainder of the race.
Behind, it was only a matter of time before the other SEATs worked their way to the front as the BMWs struggled for grip, and by lap seven, Rydell and Gene were up to second and third as Porteiro and the remainder of the BMWs dropped back. Hernandez put up a brief fight but having been knocked out of the top four by Muller, he was then tipped into a spin by Porteiro that saw him drop out of the points.
Indeed, the only BMW not struggling was Jorg Muller who came through the field to finish in fifth place despite starting near the back, while Farfus took sixth. Independent winner Porteiro was seventh ahead of rival Tom Coronel while Priaulx and Hernandez completed the top six.
Also showing encouraging pace during the race were the three Chevrolet's, although problems in race one meant none of the cars came home in the points. Alain Menu however was able to take home the fastest lap, ahead of team-mate Rob Huff.
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