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Tarquini Vs Farfus Vs Muller – Imola Preview

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With 6 races at 3 venues still left to go, the WTCC title chase is still as close as ever, with a solitary point seperating SEAT veteran Gabriele Tarquini and BMW youngster Augusto Farfus, and reigning champion Yvan Muller is not far behind either.

Until the last round at Oschersleben Muller was actually leading the championship race, and before Round 15 at Brands Hatch, looked a safe bet for the title. Two disasterous weekends however, scoring 4 points in total compared to Farfus and Tarquini’s 25pts each has proved a major setback in his title defence.  But thanks to these poor performances, Muller will now carry less success ballast than his title rivals, which could help him reclaim the lead going to Okayama in November.

Another title race seperated by a single point is the Manufacturer’s Championship, with SEAT ahead of arch rivals BMW. BMW will be keen to take the title in what is rumored to be their swansong year in the WTCC, with a move to the DTM a strong possibility from next year.  4 time champion Andy Priaulx has certainly helped BMW’s cause of late, scoring a brilliant 1st and 2nd position at Oschersleben, only missing a perfect weekend after team-orders were enforced to let Farfus by to win. A similar performace like that here and at Okayama could even vault him into championship contention, depending on how the current trio fare.

Chevrolet‘s season thus far has been something of a rollercoaster, and their inconsistency has left only one of their cars in the Top 10 of the Driver’s Championship, that of Britain’s Rob Huff. Along with Jörg Müller, Rickard Rydell and Andy Priaulx, he is locked in a close battle for 4th place, and judging by the season so far, there is no way of telling who will snatch 4th place come Macau.

The Independents battle looks to have ended prematurely however, with Felix Porteiro having no real contest for the title after championship leader Tom Coronel‘s SUNRED Engineering team pulled out due to financial difficulties. Porteiro needs to score only 16 points to overtake Coronel, and is currently 34 points ahead of 3rd placed Franz Engstler, and 39 points ahead of Stefano D’Aste.

Meanwhile Lada continues to improve with its new Priora model, and drivers Jaap van Lagen and Kirill Ladygin will be looking to score their first points of the season this weekend.

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