Qatar, Race 1 : Tarquini bids emotional farewell to Lada

Third win of the season for the Russian team

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By Emmanuel Touzot

25 November 2016 - 20:27
Qatar, Race 1 : Tarquini bids (...)

Gabriele Tarquini scored a convincing 22nd win of his FIA World Touring Car Championship career in the Opening Race at WTCC DHL Race of Qatar, his final outing with LADA.

The Italian veteran, who is searching for an alternative drive beyond this evening as his current employer focuses its motorsport activities on domestic competition next year, used his experience to pass Tom Chilton at the first corner on a restart and then pulled away to win by five seconds.

The race had to be red-flagged following a first-lap collision between Tiago Monteiro and José María López, which led to Honda driver Monteiro sustaining broken rear suspension. Hugo Valente was also caught up in the incident and had to pit.

At the restart, polesitter Chilton defended the inside line from Tarquini but ran deep, enabling the LADA driver to get the lead.

Taking the WTCC Trophy win, Chilton spent the rest of the race defending from Honda driver Rob Huff, who went from fifth to third with an attacking start. Yvan Muller claimed fourth ahead of Norbert Michelisz and the two Volvos of Thed Björk and Robert Dahlgren.

Nicky Catsburg and López recovered to finish eighth and ninth, having lost ground on the first lap after contact from behind from Mehdi Bennani, who was handed a drive-through penalty and finished down in 16th. James Thompson took 10th and second in WTCC Trophy, just ahead of Hungarian youngster Daniel Nagy.

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