Muller heads Chevrolet 1-2-3 in opener

Yvan Muller triumphs in race 1 in Curitiba as Chevrolet puts in a commanding performance to lock-out the podium.
Yvan Muller took the spoils in the opening race of the 2010 World Touring Car Championship in Curitiba today, which began under the safety car after a torrential downpour before the start.

Muller made the most of a clear view from pole position to eventually head home a Chevrolet 1-2-3, with Rob Huff taking the runners-up spot, 1.053 seconds adrift and then Alain Menu third, 4.529 seconds further back.

“It's great to win. I'm very happy,” Muller told the official WTCC website. “The race was complicated because at the beginning there was some standing water. Then the track dried out and to be on the wet tyres on a dry track was not easy.

“After five laps I wanted to save the tyres because I knew it was drying but I was saving a bit too much and when Huff came up behind me I had to wake up.”

Reigning champion Gabriele Tarquini was 'best of the rest' and fourth in his SR-Sport-run SEAT Leon TDI, just 1.5 seconds off Menu.

BMW Team RBM duo Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus came in fifth and sixth respectively, with Jordi Gene seventh, having lost out at the start while battling with Muller for the lead.

Tom Coronel, Fredy Barth and Norbert Michelisz completed the top ten, the latter losing out on the rookie honours on the penultimate lap. Michelisz could console himself though with the knowledge that he took the final championship point, while Barth was delighted with his Rookie Challenge win.

“It was a great experience for me,” said Barth. “It was the first time in a WTCC car, in Curitiba, in a diesel car so everything was new! I was just taking care to stay on track, but towards the end I felt more comfortable with the car and was able to get this win.”

Sergio Hernandez meanwhile was the top Independent after fighting his way up from last on the grid to 13th, behind Tiago Monteiro and Michel Nykjaer.

Andrei Romanov was the only driver not classified. He completed just five laps after going off into the gravel at Esse de Baixa. Although he managed to limp back to the pits he was unable to continue.

To view the results, CLICK HERE

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Yvan Muller - Chevrolet Cruze [pic credit: FIA WTCC]

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