Michel Nykjær and Nika Racing claimed their first WTCC victory at the end of a race full of drama in which the Dane stole the lead from Gabriele Tarquini fractions of second before the safety car was deployed.
Fri 12.04.13, 6:06PM
Tarquini and his Honda had led from the start, resisting the pressure from Nykjær and James Nash. However the Italian driver opened a gap at the end of lap 5 and Nykjær did not think twice and took the inside line at the hairpin.
Seconds later the safety car was deployed and froze the race following Tiago Monteiro’s crash at Turn 3.
The race resumed with only two laps to go. And those were plenty of action with James Nash, Yvan Muller, Rob Huff and Alex MacDowall having a close battle for third position.
Nash managed to stay in third, while Muller beat Huff on the finish line by 0.024 seconds.
Start – Tarquini sprints from pole to take the lead, Nykjær passes Nash for second
Lap 1 – Engstler hits D’Aste at Turn 1 and sends him into a spin, Bennani is involved
Lap 1 – Huff overtakes Muller for fourth
Lap 2 – Bennani pits for repairs and rejoins
Lap 3 – Muller overtakes Huff for fourth
Lap 4 – Nykjær puts pressure on Tarquini
Lap 5 – Monteiro hits the wall at Turn 3; Chilton pits with technical problems
Lap 5 – Nykjær steals the lead from Tarquini
Lap 6 – the safety car is deployed; Michelisz pits, his air box broken by debris of Monteiro’s car
Lap 10 – Engstler pits with a puncture to the front left tyre
Lap 12 – race resumes
Lap 13 – Nash, Muller, Huff and MacDowell fight for third position