TARQUINI ROUNDS OFF SEATS GREAT DAY
On the day of his 46th birthday Gabriele Tarquini made himself an outstanding present by winning the second race in Brazil and also got his payback for helping out his team-mates (Muller and Rydell) in the first race.
He began from the second row, but as Tom Coronel and Félix Porteiro fell back, he surged through to the front. He held off a strong challenge from Porteiro, and then from the eventual second place position holder Andy Priaulx.
Tarquini took the lead at a start that saw Chevrolet’s Robert Huff shunted off the track by another car on the first corner, the rear left suspension collapsed and he was unable to continue. With Nicola Larini and Alain Menu also finishing out of the points, it rounded off a bad weekend for Chevrolet.
Coronel did not have the pace to compete with the BMW and SEAT works cars and he fell back to an eventual ninth position. On the third lap he was overtaken by Jörg Müller, Yvan Muller and Rickard Rydell, then later by a charging Augusto Farfus.
Müller and Muller fought over fourth place, and the BMW Team Germany driver eventually came out on top, with the Frenchman behind him in fifth. Farfus battled past Rydell, and they finished sixth and seventh respectively, as Farfus could not find a way past Muller in the final laps. After his penalty from the earlier race Jordi Gené began the race in ninth, but moved ahead of Coronel to secure the final point.
On lap 9 Priaulx squeezed past Porteiro going into turn 1, and then chased after Tarquini. However, the Italian kept him at bay to take the chequered flag in his SEAT, ahead of three BMW drivers.
In the Independents‘ class Olivier Tielemans, who had won the first race due to a 30-second time penalty imposed to Corthals, triumphed again. He enjoyed a close battle with Alessandro Zanardi and eventually finished in fourteenth position overall.