Yvan Muller battled to a hard fought victory in the second World Touring Car race of the weekend in Puebla after soaking up intense pressure from Andy Priaulx for SEAT's fourth consecutive win of the season.

Mirroring team-mate Rickard Rydell's triumph in the first race, Muller worked his way to the front of the field from fifth position on the grid before staunchly defending his position from Priaulx in the final few laps.

In a race of seemingly no obvious performance advantage for either SEAT or BMW, SEAT got the jump on their rivals at the start when both Jordi Gene and Gabriele Tarquini moved in front at the expense of Nicola Larini, who made a poor getaway from pole in the Chevrolet to get shuffled down to fifth in the opening corners.

Nonetheless, Jorg Muller had made up good ground too, passing Tarquini for second before the first lap had finished, while his namesake Yvan was up to fourth from Larini, Priaulx, Rydell and Sergio Hernandez.

With Gene steadfast in the lead and upholding his reputation as being difficult to overtake, it wasn't long before Jorg, Tarquini and Yvan - the pair having swapped positions twice following failed moves on Jorg - were getting bottled up behind the Spaniard.

Jorg himself briefly took the lead on lap four with a bold dive down the inside of the SEAT at turn five, only for Gene to switch back and out-drag him around the oval to reclaim the position.

However, just as Jorg looked as though he was lining up for another move on Gene, he was clipped from behind by Tarquini around the oval on the run up to turn six, putting the BMW out of shape and allowing the Italian up the inside for the left-hander. However, with an insufficient overlap to complete the move, Tarquini rather forcefully made contact with his rival to send him spinning off the track and out of contention

Allowing Yvan up into second position, Tarquini held onto third place for only one more lap before he ran wide at turn two and tumbled down to seventh position.

With Muller and Priaulx bunching up again behind Gene, who was lapping almost a second slower than his rivals, the Frenchman wasted no time in making his move, slipping past into the lead on lap eight, surprising Gene enough to allow Priaulx to follow him straight through too.

With half of the race still to go, Priaulx looked in a good position to challenge for the lead, but while his BMW was a match for the SEAT in a straight line, Muller was inch perfect around the corners to ensure the former champion was never in a position to make anything more than a feigned attempt at overtaking.

As such, the reigning champion was able to hold on for victory by just half a second from Priaulx, his second win of the season and one that lifts him back to the top of the WTCC standings.

Although not the win he would have fancied come race day, Priaulx will be pleased to come away with a pair of podiums on a weekend where BMW had expected to struggle.

Race one winner Rydell was third to record the biggest points haul of the day and share the championship lead with Muller, while Farfus led a BMW 4-5-6 ahead of Hernandez and Zanardi, both of which showed a marked improvement in speed over the first race.

Gene dropped to an eventual seventh, holding off a struggling Tarquini in eighth position. Pole sitter Larini could only manage tenth.

Meanwhile, ninth and victory in the Independents Trophy was once again Felix Porteiro, ahead of Franz Engstler in 12th place overall and Tom Coronel in 15th.



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