Rob Huff has taken the first race win for the Chevrolet Cruze after leading from start to finish in the opening World Touring Car Championship race of the weekend in Morocco.
Huff had qualified on pole position and successfully held the lead off the start ahead of Gabriele Tarquini, with the Briton then maintaining his advantage throughout to secure his first win of the campaign. Despite the best efforts of Tarquini, he had to settle for second place at the head of a train of SEATs.
Huff's win came despite the deployment of the Safety Car on the opening lap following an incident involving Jorg Muller, Alain Menu and Rickard Rydell, which forced Rydell into retirement.
It meant the Swede was the only SEAT driver not to score, with Jordi Gene following Tarquini home for the final place on the podium ahead of defending champion Yvan Muller and Tiago Monteiro.
Nicola Larini took sixth ahead of Menu and Jorg Muller, who will start race two on the front row as a result.
Independent honours went the way of Mehdi Bennani, who produced a fine drive in his Exagon Engineering-entered SEAT Leon TFSi to come through the pack from 14th place to finish ninth – making up all of his places on the opening lap.
It meant the local driver took maximum Independents' points on his first appearance in the series and also finished ahead of established names such as Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus in the results.
Aside from Rydell, Alex Zanardi and Kristian Poulsen both retired in a race that passed with fewer problems than many had anticipated.