Lights-To-Flag Victory For D’Aste In Race 2 At Suzuka

Stefano D'Aste - Photo Credit: FIA WTCC

Stefano D’Aste led from pole position to the checkered flag in race two at Suzuka to record his second outright victory of the World Touring Car Championship season.

After their dominance in race one, the trio of factory Chevrolets spent the majority of the race filling positions five, six and seven, with Rob Huff leading Alain Menu and Yvan Muller after the Swiss driver got past the Frenchman at the start.

They worked their way past Mehdi Bennani in the closing stages, but would have to make do with places off the podium.

D’Aste had the SEATs of Pepe Oriola and Gabriele Tarquini behind him throughout, but D’Aste was able to open up a gap in his BMW as Oriola struggled with his tyres at the end and fell into the clutches of Tarquini.

Bennani finished seventh behind the three Chevrolets and ahead of Aleksei Dudukalo and Alex MacDowall. Tiago Monteiro repeated the tenth place from race one to secure another point on the debut weekend for the Honda Civic.

Franz Engstler was 11th ahead of Tom Boardman, Darryl O’Young and Alberto Cerqui, while Tom Coronel recovered to 15th after stalling at the start. James Nash was 16th, Charles Ng 17th and Tom Chilton 18th, ahead of local ace Hiroki Yoshimoto, debutant Rene Munnich and the other Japanese driver Masaki Kano.

Fernando Monje retired to the pits eight laps before the end, while Norbert Michelisz finished in the wall on the first lap after contact.

The result means Muller and Huff are tied for the points lead, just as they were when they arrived in Japan, while Menu is 38 behind. Next up is the championship’s first visit to the Shanghai International Circuit in two weeks’ time.