Huff Wins Race 2 After Muller Is Punished For Engstler Clash

by Peter Allen
Rob Huff - Photo Credit: WTCC Media

Rob Huff has tied with Yvan Muller for the World Touring Car Championship points lead having inherited victory in the second race in Sonoma after Muller was handed a drive-through penalty for contact with Franz Engstler as they fought over the lead.

BMWs held the first four spots after the start of the reverse grid race, but Stefano D’Aste spun out of the lead after a few turns. Mehdi Bennani took up first place, but a few laps later the Moroccan through away his chances of a maiden victory when he had his own out-of-control moment that put him in the wall.

Engstler managed to avoid the spinning Bennani and inherited the race lead but was soon sideways himself, this time having been helped around by Muller. As the safety car came out to recover Bennani’s stricken car, Muller was investigated by the stewards and handed a drive-through penalty.

That gave Huff the lead, but he was made to work hard for his fourth win of the season by Norbert Michelisz who pushed the Briton all the way to the checkered flag (which incidentally wasn’t waved at the end of the race – causing the leaders to continue for another lap). The Zengo Motorsport BMW driver completed a fine weekend following his third-place finish in race one, managing to keep his car in a straight line unlike his fellow BMW drivers who had struggled to remain pointing in the right direction all weekend.

Gabriele Tarquini completed the podium in third ahead of Alain Menu, little consolation for the Swiss driver after his retirement from race one. Tom Coronel was fifth after starting from towards the back once again, while Tiago Monteiro finished his last ever race in a Leon in sixth before his switch to Honda in time for Suzuka.

Alex MacDowall finished seventh ahead of Tom Boardman, D’Aste and Engstler. Muller finished down in 14th.

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