Rob Huff claimed an amazing victory in a race that saw the field decimated by two massive pile-ups.
Sun 17.11.13, 8:08AM
Tom Coronel was able to benefit from pole position and lead for most of the race, but the double red-flag and the two restarts behind the safety car gave an advantage to the SEAT and Chevrolet cars that were faster than the BMW on the straight. Eventually Huff jumped into the lead with only two laps left, while Pepe Oriola also managed to strip Coronel of second position.
For most of the race James Thompson and LADA cherished the dream of claiming the Russian manufacturers’ first podium, as the Briton was second behind Coronel. However Thompson lost two positions to Huff and Nash after the second restart and eventually was punted off by Oriola.
James Nash finished fourth ahead of his team-mate Alex MacDowall, and the pair gave bamboo-engineering a 1-2 finish in the Yokohama Trophy.
Among those who survived the carnage, Henry Ho finished in tenth position, claiming his first WTCC point and winning the Asia Trophy race.
Grid – Tarquini takes the start from the pit lane
Start – Michelisz hits the barrier at Reservoir bends, bounces back in the middle of the pack causing a pile-up that involves Boardman, D’Aste, O’Young, Calko, Valente, Bennani, Kozlovskij and MacDowall
Lap 1 – the race is suspended by the red flag
Restart – seven cars are missing; only MacDowall’s among those involved in the pile up is able to make the grid
Lap 2 – the field takes the start behind the safety car
Lap 3 – Coronel leads from Thompson; Chilton overtakes Nash for third
Lap 3 – Muller hits the barrier at San Francisco bend and rejoins
Lap 4 – Thompson, Chilton, Nash and Huff fight for second
Lap 4 – Monteiro pits with a broken brake disc after being hit by Muller
Lap 5 – Chilton stops on the track; De Jesus crashes into Chilton’s car
Lap 6 – the safety car is deployed
Lap 6 – the back markers do not slow down enough and cause another pile-up on the site of the crash; the race is red-flagged once again
Lap 7 – for the second time the race resumes behind the safety car
Lap 8 – Huff and Nash overtake Thompson for second and third
Lap 8 – Oriola pushes Thompson into the wall at Maternity bend
Lap 9 – Engstler and de Souza are given a drive through for grid infringements
Lap 9 – Huff overtakes Coronel and jumps into the lead
Lap 10 – Oriola overtakes Nash for third
Lap 11 – Oriola overtakes Coronel for second; Muller overtakes Basseng for sixth