Menu Holds Off Turkington To Win First Race In China

WTCC Tianma - Photo Credit:
Menu leads Huff and Turkington early in the race - Photo Credit:

Alain Menu kept Colin Turkington at bay to win the very first World Touring Car Championship race at Tianma in Shanghai.

Starting from pole position, Menu maintained his lead at the start ahead of Chevrolet teammate Rob Huff and Wiechers BMW driver Turkington, who this weekend was making just his third appearance of the season.

In the middle of the race Turkington looked much faster than his fellow Brit Huff, and made his way past on lap 13. From there he set after Menu, quickly closing a gap of more than 1.5 seconds down to just three tenths within five laps. He was unable to find a way through though, and Menu would open up his lead again to 1.2s by the checkered flag.

Huff's third place allowed him to reduce the gap to championship leader Yvan Muller slightly – the Frenchman finishing behind him in fourth after starting seventh. Muller had taken the place from Norbert Michelisz on lap 18, the Hungarian BMW driver then losing two further places to Tom Coronel and Kristian Poulsen further round the lap.

Michelisz would drop out of the top ten entirely before the end of the race, leaving Mehdi Bennani to finish seventh, ahead of Tiago Monteiro, Robert Dahlgren and Javier Villa.

Gabriele Tarquini had started fifth, but lost several places early on before retiring to the pits with brake problems.

Race results -25 laps:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 28:05.718
2 Colin Turkington Wiechers BMW 320 TC 1.222
3 Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 5.065
4 Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 8.005
5 Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 320 TC 9.010
6 Kristian Poulsen Engstler BMW 320 TC 9.921
7 Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 320 TC 15.487
8 Tiago Monteiro SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T 22.630
9 Robert Dahlgren Polestar Volvo C30 Drive 26.204
10 Javier Villa Proteam BMW 320 TC 27.118
11 Norbert Michelisz Zengo BMW 320 TC 28.291
12 Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 320 TC 28.539
13 Darryl O'Young Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 38.072
14 Michel Nykjaer SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T 53.157
15 Aleksei Dudukalo SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T 59.011
16 Charles Ng KK BMW 320 TC 1:41.155
17 Pepe Oriola SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T +1 lap
18 Fabio Fabiani Engstler BMW 320si +1 lap
19 Philip Ma Proteam BMW 320si +1 lap
20 Yukinori Taniguchi Bamboo Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T +2 laps
21 Fredy Barth SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T +4 laps
Ret Gabriele Tarquini SUNRED Sunred SR Leon 1.6T 15 laps