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Yvan Muller wins Valencian opener

Yvan Muller has taken victory in the opening World Touring Car Championship race of the weekend in Valencia after SEAT secured a 1-2-3 finish on home soil.

Muller started second on the grid but made light work of finding a way ahead of polesitter Gabriele Tarquini on the opening lap and was never headed from that point onwards as he took a third victory of the campaign.

Tarquini had looked like taking the fight to the Frenchman during the early laps but two mistakes on the same lap midway through the race were enough to give Tiago Monteiro the chance to move through into second place, with Tarquini settling for third to complete a diesel lock-out of the podium.

A stunning start from Jorg Muller looked like rewarding the BMW with fourth place after he stormed through from eleventh on the run to turn one, aided by an incident ahead which saw Rickard Rydell, Alain Menu and Jordi Gene all run wide through the gravel – the latter retiring as a result.

However, on the final lap, Muller slowed coming out of the final corner and dropped to sixth to secure a better starting slot for race two, which left fellow BMW runners Augusto Farfus and Andy Priaulx in fourth and fifth.

Tom Coronel took seventh while Sergio Hernandez held off Stefano D'Aste to take eighth and pole position for race two.

The race turned out to be one to forget for Chevrolet, with Menu only able to fight back to 15th after his race one incident – leaving him four places behind Nicola Larini who ran in the points only on only to be shuffled back down the order.

Rob Huff meanwhile was the last classified finisher down in 22nd place, having been forced to pit with damage after a coming together with the Independent SEAT of Mehdi Bennani. Huff was then handed a drive-through penalty for the incident.


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Yvan Muller - SEAT Leon TDi [Pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
John Filippi - Campos SEAT Leon [pic credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Yvan Muller - Citroen Racing C-Elysee [credit: FIA WTCC]
Citroen tests new C-Elysee at Valencia [pic credit: Citroen Racing]
Citroen tests new C-Elysee at Valencia [pic credit: Citroen Racing]

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