Huff wins rain-soaked Race 1 in Japan

Priaulx 2nd, Muller 3rd

By Franck Drui

31 October 2010 - 07:30
Huff wins rain-soaked Race 1 in Japan

Rob Huff claimed his second win of the season for Chevrolet at the Okayama International Circuit today. After taking the lead in tricky conditions, Huff drove a faultless race to take the spoils. Andy Priaulx held onto second position despite Yvan Muller closing in on his championship rival.

Norbert Michelisz had a great drive to finish best of the rookies in fifth overall. Japanese racer Yukinori Taniguchi had an action packed race to get ahead of Tom Coronel for 11th overall to win the Independents’ category.

After two laps behind the safety car the race got underway with Augusto Farfus giving Priaulx space to have a clean run into the first corner.

Behind the leaders, cars were flying off the track with Tiago Monteiro running into Franz Engstler and Kristian Poulsen, Tom Coronel, Fredy Barth, Kevin Chen, Yoshihori Ito and Stefano D’Aste all running off on lap one. Most of them managed to rejoin.

Huff started to make his way from third of the grid, first picking off Farfus for second position. Gabriele Tarquini also had a good start getting ahead of Michelisz, who ran wide at T6, and taking Colin Turkington for fourth.

The order at the front was now Priaulx from Huff, Farfus, Taquini, Turkington, Muller, Michelisz, Rossi, Menu and Nykjær. Menu then ran wide while his team-mate Huff began to put pressure on Priaulx for the lead. After a few sideways moments Huff found a way through on lap five while Tarquini ran into the gravel trying to pass Farfus for fourth.

Meanwhile, Muller was steadily making his way forward, the championship leader getting down the inside of Turkington before catching and passing Farfus for third. He began closing in on Priaulx for second but as the Guernseyman picked up his pace in the second half of the race the top three remained unchanged.

Further back a great battle was raging in the Independents’ Trophy as a four-way battle led by Yukinori Taniguchi emerged behind Tom Coronel. As Taniguchi tried to pass the Dutchman he had Darryl O’Young, Sergio Hernández and Nobuteru Taniguchi hot on his tail. After nearly losing the back end on a couple of occasions, the Japanese driver eventually found a way through into 11th position and held on to take his first class victory.

From 24th on the grid, following a penalty for an engine change, Robert Dahlgren came through to finish an impressive 10th in his Volvo C30.

The final order across the line was Huff from Priaulx, Muller, Farfus, Michelisz, Turkington, Tarquini and Nykjær. This puts the rookie on pole with reigning champion Tarquini alongside him for Race 2.

Priaulx has now closed the gap to championship leader Yvan Muller to 22 points with 75 still on offer.

Pos. Driver Car Time
01 R. Huff Chevrolet Cruze 31m46.668s - 16 laps
02 A. Priaulx BMW 320si +2.977s
03 Y. Muller Chevrolet Cruze +4.931s
04 A. Farfus BMW 320si +8.596s
05 N. Michelisz Seat Leon TDI +9.742s
06 C. Turkington BMW 320si +11.310s
07 G. Tarquini Seat Leon TDI +13.876s
08 M. Nykjaer Seat Leon TDI +14.901s
09 A. Menu Chevrolet Cruze +30.022s
10 R. Dahlgren Volvo C30 +31.077s
11 Y. Taniguchi Chevrolet Lacetti +1m13.148s
12 D. O’Young Chevrolet Lacetti +1m15.995s
13 S. Hernandez BMW 320si +1m17.546s
14 N. Taniguchi BMW 320si +1m17.857s
15 F. Engstler BMW 320si +1m19.035s
16 K. Poulsen BMW 320si +1m26.602s
17 M. Bennani BMW 320si +1m30.373s
18 M. Yanagida BMW 320si +1m30.957s
19 H. Ho BMW 320si +1 lap
20 Y. Ito BMW 320si +1 lap
21 T. Coronel Seat Leon TDI +1 lap
22 K. Chen BMW 320si DNF
23 A. Romanov BMW 320si DNF
24 M. Rossi Seat Leon TDI DNF
25 T. Monteiro Seat Leon TDI DNF
26 F. Barth Seat Leon TDI DNF
27 S. D’Aste BMW 320si DNF
Best Lap Y. Muller Chevrolet Cruze 1m51.813s



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