Rob Huff stakes early championship lead with double wins in Monza
The FIA WTCC Championship visits Monza, Italy for its 5th and 6th Rounds with the special attedance of FIA President Jean Todt who met with organizers and teams on qualifying day and stayed to watch the race the next day. It was another pole position start for Chevrolet's Rob Huff who claims his third out of the three legs of the series. Huff's teammates Yvan Muller and Alain Menu qualified for second and third, respectively.
It was a hard fought action-packed battle for Huff in Round 5 despite being bunched up with his teammates in front of the grid. Team orders were nonexistent and it was every man for himself as the three Chevrolet Cruze cars go side-by-side entering Parabloica in the opening lap. On the second Menu takes the first move getting ahead of Muller at the first chicane to take second position. Not too far behind them was a duel between Gabriel Tarquini in the SUNRED Seat Leon and Kristian Poulsen in the Team Engstler BMW 320 TC, however the two come into contact in lap 3 and Tarquini finds himself with a broken front suspension and retires.
By lap 6, Menu would find himself close enough to fight with Huff for the lead; the two would make contact at Ascari, fortunately no major damages to the cars were made. More action took place in Lap 8 when Michel Nykjær's SUNRED Seat hits Mehdi Bennani's Proteam BMW 320 TC, sending him into a spin. Norbert Michelisz would find himself overtaking Tiago Monteiro for fourth on the same lap.
As if the action was not enough, a daring manoeuvre on lap 9 by Muller on Menu brings their cars into contact taking out Menu's car which hits the barriers ending his race. Monteiro takes back his position from Michelisz and inherits third from Menu's retirement. The race ends with Huff in first, Muller in second and Montiero in third.
It was an even more exciting Round 6 as Huff immediately claims the lead after a bad start by Monteiro. An aggressive Muller finds a way past Monteiro for second at the Parabolica; a bad first lap for Monteiro, losing two positions all in the same lap. Starting the fireworks in lap 2 was Freddy Barth who hits Bennani at the Roggia sending Bennani's BMW to the barrier, he was able to rejoin the race. A hard charging Alain Menu finds himself in eighth position after starting from the back of the grid by lap 3. Slightly ahead was a raging battle between Monteiro, Michelisz, Poulsen, Tarquini and O'Young who were swapping positions virtually every lap.
Another Chevrolet battle was raging ahead between Huff and Muller, it ended when Muller pushed Huff at the braking point of the Parabolica on lap 6; Huff manages to recover and drives ahead. Menu would find himself slipping into fourth, but would eventually lose it to Monteiro who makes a daring maneuver on the final lap finishing literally inches ahead of him. The race ended with Huff in first, Muller in second and Poulsen in third.
While six different incidents were investigated in Monza, Yvan Muller received a 10-position grid penalty for hitting teammate Alain Menu in Round 5. He we be penalized for the next two events.