Menu wins incident-filled race two, Huff crowned Champion
Poleman MacDowall lucky after big incident
Alain Menu has won an incident-filled second race at Macau, however it was Rob Huff who was crowned Champion after a lengthened race around the Circuito da Guia. The Briton eventually finished 2nd behind team-mate Menu, with Yvan Muller making it a Chevrolet 1-2-3 in the final race of the season.
At the start Norbert Michelisz stormed instantly into the lead off the line, as poleman Alex MacDowall settled into 2nd position. Alain Menu enjoyed an equally sensational start, rising to 4th on the opening lap as Rob Huff initially struggled down in 9th position. Unlike race one, all 28 drivers successfully negotiated the Hotel Lisboa section of the track, however Stefano D’Aste make contact with the Chevrolet of Ng Kin Veng and tipped him into the wall, however he was able to continue racing.
Alex MacDowall retook the lead on the second lap from the BMW of Norbert Michelisz, as Alain Menu continued steadily rising through the field to 3rd. The Swiss then progressed around Michelisz to 2nd position, before eventually taking the lead as MacDowall ran slightly wide and brushed the barrier. However, the safety car was called upon on lap four after Yvan Muller tipped Alex MacDowall into a horrific incident as the pack negotiated the high speed Hotel Mandarin Oriental section of the track.
With several fatalities sadly occurring throughout the course of the Macau Grand Prix weekend, Alex MacDowall was exceedingly lucky to emerge from his destroyed Chevrolet unscathed. However, the incident deposited lots of debris across the track, causing a rather lengthy safety car period as the marshals cleared the track. Tom Coronel was forced into an unlucky retirement during the safety car period, with the Dutchman picking up damage to his car due to debris from MacDowall’s Chevrolet. Mehdi Bennani also retired during the safety car period, somehow making contact with barrier under safety car conditions.
Due to the lengthy safety car period, the race was lengthened to 11 laps. Once the race was resumed on lap nine, another incident quickly ensued as Pepe Oriola tapped the rear of Norbert Michelisz’s BMW and sent the Hungarian driver whirling into the barriers on the run down to the Hotel Lisboa section of the track. Oriola also embedded his car into the wall, as Rob Huff miraculously tip-toed through the melee and into 2nd position.
This second incident once again brought out the safety car, and also saw Stefano D’Aste retire in a separate incident. With all three Yokohama Driver Trophy contenders out of the race, Norbert Michelisz was therefore crowned Champion by default. Gabrielle Tarquini was the next driver forced into retirement, as the race came to a conclusion under safety car conditions. This saw Rob Huff crowned WTCC Champion of 2012, only 12 points ahead of team-mate Alain Menu.
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|1||Alain MENU||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||11 laps - 35m36.096s|
|2||Robert HUFF||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+0.320|
|3||Yvan MULLER||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+0.889|
|4||Tiago MONTEIRO||Honda Civic S2000 WTCC||+9.015|
|5||Darryl O’YOUNG||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||+9.786|
|6||Franz ENGSTLER||BMW 320 TC||+10.127|
|7||Aleksei DUDUKALO||SEAT Leon WTCC||+11.024|
|8||Fredy BARTH||SEAT Leon WTCC||+11.399|
|9||Tom BOARDMAN||SEAT Leon WTCC||+11.582|
|10||Fernando MONJE||SEAT Leon WTCC||+11.900|
|11||André COUTO||SR Leon 1.6T||+12.412|
|12||James NASH||Ford Focus S2000 TC||+20.496|
|13||Jo ROSA MERZSEI||BMW 320 si||+20.883|
|14||Filipe de SOUZA||Chevrolet Lacetti||+21.920|
|15||Celio ALVES DIAS||Chevrolet Lacetti||+22.760|
|16||Ka Lok MAK||BMW 320 si||+24.741|
|17||Kin Veng NG||Chevrolet Cruze LT||+25.589|
|18||Eurico DE JESUS||Honda Accord Type-R||+26.243|
|19||Kei COZZOLINO||BMW 320 TC||+2 laps|
|20||Gabriele TARQUINI||SEAT Leon WTCC||+2 laps|
|21||Norbert MICHELISZ||BMW 320 TC||+3 laps|
|22||Pepe ORIOLA||SEAT Leon WTCC||+3 laps|
|23||Stefano D’ASTE||BMW 320 TC||+3 laps|
|24||Tom CORONEL||BMW 320 TC||DNF|
|25||Alex MACDOWALL||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||DNF|
|26||Tom CHILTON||Ford Focus S2000 TC||DNF|
|27||Mehdi BENNANI||BMW 320 TC||DNF|
|28||Henry HO||BMW 320 si||DNF|
|29||Charles NG||BMW 320 TC||DNS|
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