Gabriele Tarquini gave his title hopes a boost with a lights-to-flag victory in the first World Touring Car race at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo.
Tarquini led away from the rolling start, followed by the Chevrolets of Rob Huff, Yvan Muller and Alain Menu. Jordi Gene made a strong start to move into fifth past SR-Sport teammate Tiago Monteiro. Andy Priaulx also made a good start, moving up from ninth to seventh on the opening lap, passing Fredy Barth and Augusto Farfus.
Farfus eventually got past Barth at the final corner, as Priaulx took sixth from Monteiro. Barth was determined to take eighth place back from Farfus and made contact with the rear of the Brazilian's BMW, pushing the bumper against the rear-right tyre. This caused a puncture on the following lap, Farfus running wide and dropping positions before pitting for repairs.
Up front, Muller passed teammate Huff for second place, as Tarquini held on to take the victory. Menu dropped backwards in the closing laps, finishing up in eighth place. Gene finished fourth, ahead of Priaulx, Monteiro and Barth. Behind Menu, Michel Nykjaer and Tom Coronel rounded out the top ten.
Kristian Poulsen took the Independents' category win in 12th behind Norbert Michelisz. Prize-driver Marc Carol passed Sergio Hernandez for third in class earlier on the race, forcing Hernandez wide, resulting in him being spun round by Proteam teammate Stefano D'Aste as he rejoined. D'Aste lost a wheel in the collision, with Hernandez having to pit for repairs. Carol passed Darryl O'Young for second, before taking the lead from Poulsen. The Dane soon re-passed Carol to take the category win.