Huff Resists Muller’s Attacks To Win First Salzburgring Race

Rob Huff and Yvan Muller - Photo Credit: WTCC Media
Huff had to resist pressure from Muller, with Menu also trying to get in on the act - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Rob Huff scored his second win of the World Touring Car Championship season after resisting numerous attacks from Yvan Muller in an all-Chevrolet battle in the series' first race in Austria.

The three factory-run Cruzes were in a class of their own for the entire race, just as they had been throughout Saturday's running. They still made an exciting race out of it, though.

Huff successfully retained the lead from pole at the rolling start, but Muller wasn't going to settle for second place. On lap three, the Frenchman forced Huff to overshoot the chicane and run through the gravel, which allowed Muller to pull alongside on the long high speed run down towards Turn 11. Muller hung around the outside but couldn't find a way by.

Darryl O'Young found the gravel trap after contact with Stefano D'Aste at the turn 1 chicane, necessitating the safety car which neutralised the battle for the lead. Attempts to recover the SEAT from the gravel came to nothing, so the race was restarted with the car still at the side of the track.

After the restart Huff successfully kept Muller behind to win. The third Chevrolet of Alain Menu had been right behind throughout the race but had to settle for third.

Gabriele Tarquini finished up as the best of the rest in his Lukoil SEAT, but only after keeping Sunred-powered Leon driver Tiago Monteiro behind. Alex MacDowall made it an all-Chevrolet affair on the podium by claiming his maiden Yokohama Trophy victory in sixth overall.

Pepe Oriola was seventh, with Tom Coronel eighth. Norbert Michelisz recovered to ninth after qualifying 15th, while James Nash claimed a point for Team Aon after starting 13th.

Aleksei Dudukalo is due to start race two from the reverse grid pole, but the Lukoil team have work to do ahead of the race start at 13.45 after he suffered race-ending damage after clashing with Mehdi Bennani at the first chicane.