Yvan Muller continued his 100% start to his World Touring Car Championship title defence with a dominant victory in the first race at Valencia.
The Frenchman held onto the lead at the start after starting from pole, even though Gabriele Tarquini had a quicker launch off the rolling start. Muller used the inside line to retain the lead, and went on to cross the line nearly seven seconds ahead of Tarquini.
Tarquini had to hold off race-long pressure from the BMW of Tom Coronel, who received a black and white flag for making contact with the SEAT driver before going on to finish third. Rob Huff was close behind after taking fourth from Pepe Oriola on the opening lap, with the third Chevrolet of Alain Menu also getting past the young Spaniard later in the race. They could do nothing about Tarquini and Coronel though so would have to settle for fourth and fifth.
Oriola remained in the train behind Tarquini, and although the BMWs of Norbert Micheilsz and Franz Engstler closed up in the final stages, Oriola held onto take the Yokohama Trophy win on home soil.
Tiago Monteiro finished nearly ten seconds behind Engstler in ninth place in his Sunred-powered Leon, ahead of the SEAT-powered Leon of Darryl O'Young.
James Nash had been set for 11th for Team Aon after keeping Alberto Cerqui at bay, but Stefano D'Aste found a way past the pair of them in the final stages, relegating Nash to 12th. Alex MacDowall finished 14th, while Tom Chilton and Tom Boardman were 19th and 20th.
|1||Yvan Muller||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||13 laps in 22:53.924|
|2||Gabriele Tarquini||Lukoil||SEAT Leon WTCC||6.988|
|3||Tom Coronel||ROAL||BMW 320 TC||7.232|
|4||Robert Huff||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||8.982|
|5||Alain Menu||Chevrolet||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||9.250|
|6||Y||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti||SEAT Leon WTCC||10.614|
|7||Y||Norbert Michelisz||Zengo||BMW 320 TC||11.854|
|8||Y||Franz Engstler||Engstler||BMW 320 TC||12.202|
|9||Tiago Monteiro||Tuenti||SR Leon 1.6T||21.185|
|10||Y||Darryl O’Young||Special Tuning||SEAT Leon WTCC||24.010|
|11||Y||Stefano D’Aste||Wiechers||BMW 320 TC||25.349|
|12||James Nash||Aon||Ford Focus S2000 TC||30.104|
|13||Y||Alberto Cerqui||ROAL||BMW 320 TC||30.282|
|14||Y||Mehdi Bennani||Proteam||BMW 320 TC||30.685|
|15||Y||Alex MacDowall||Bamboo||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||31.373|
|16||Y||Isaac Tutumlu||Proteam||BMW 320 TC||32.187|
|17||Y||Gabor Weber||Zengo||BMW 320 TC||33.507|
|18||Y||Charles Ng||Engstler||BMW 320 TC||34.050|
|19||Tom Chilton||Aon||Ford Focus S2000 TC||34.372|
|20||Y||Tom Boardman||Special Tuning||SEAT Leon TDi||36.599|
|21||Y||Fernando Monje||Sunred||SR Leon 1.6T||37.377|
|22||Y||Pasquale Di Sabatino||Bamboo||Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T||37.926|
|23||Y||Andrea Barlesi||Sunred||SR Leon 1.6T||51.999|
|Y||Aleksei Dudukalo||Lukoil||SEAT Leon WTCC||6 laps|