Chevrolet makes a clean sweep in the 2011 World Touring Car Championship
With three more events remaining on the calendar, the Chevrolet cars built and run by RML have secured an insurmountable lead in both the Manufacturers and Drivers championship.
In what will be a record season for its domination, Chevrolet has built a gap of 304 points ahead of BMW with only 258 still at stake. As for the drivers, Tom Coronel is currently fourth, but his gap of 175 points means he is mathematically excluded from the fight that remains restricted to the Muller-Huff-Menu trio.
After making his third consecutive pole position start, Yvan Muller continues on his latest hot streak as he claims the championship lead from teammate Rob Huff after a big win in Round 17 at Valencia. After a restart due to an irregular lineup, Gabriel Tarquini took a big advantage to take the lead, while polesitter Muller ran in tow. Huff was forced down the order when teammate Alain Menu hit him after being hit hard by Tiago Montiero in the second lap lap. A very determined Muller manages to find a way past Tarquini on turn two during lap four and doesn't look back after until the checkered flag for his fifth win in six straight races.
It was perhaps by miracle or pure luck that gave Yvan Muller his back-to-back win in Valencia for Round 18. It was clearly a clean sweep for the BMW cars with four laps to go; it was Tom Coronel, Jason Villa and Norbert Michelisz about to making the only non-Chevrolet podium of the season and the first BMW sweep. However a hard charging Villa manages to overtake Coronel on turn 2 upsetting the veteran who fights back and ends up colliding with Villa and taking him out in turn 4. Coronel would rejoin the race in 5th.
Still on his hot streak, Muller took full advantage and jumped into the lead ahead of Michelisz. Chevrolet drivers Rob Huff and Alain Menu followed in tow not too far behind. With a daring maneuver to regain the lead from Muller on the last corner on the last lap, Michelisz spins out dropping down the order to literally hand the Chevrolet drivers a clean sweep on a silver platter.
Reigning world champion Yvan Muller arrived in Valencia with six points to recover from Robert Huff and now leaves Spain with a 16-point lead. Muller and Huff are expected to fight it on until the last leg for the driver's trophy.
The championship will resume in Suzuka, Japan, on October 23rd for rounds 19 and 20.