The WTCC race day at the Salzburgring had two faces. The first race delivered another 1-2-3 for Chevrolet, while the second one saw Stefano DAste claiming his first win after a dramatic last lap.
Rob Huff, Yvan Muller and Alain Menu dominated Race 1, but at the same time they treated the Austrian fans to a good show, engaging each other in close fights nearly at every corner.
The second race was set to end in another 1-2-3 for Chevrolet, as Muller, Huff and Menu were able to recover and take command despite starting ninth, tenth and eighth respectively. However, tyre problems plagued all the three Cruze cars and also the León cars of Monteiro, Tarquini and Dudukalo and this resulted in a last-corner sprint that propelled DAste towards an unexpected victory from Huff and Tom Coronel.
In terms of the title fight, Huff emerged as the overall winner of the weekend. The Englishman overtook Menu for second place and also reduced his gap from Yvan Muller to only eight points, which promises exciting battles for the second half of the season.
In the Yokohama Trophy, before DAstes sensational overall triumph (that followed Norbert Micheliszs in the previous event), Alex MacDowall won the category in the first race, claiming his maiden victory since he joined the championship.
The championship will resume at Portimão, Portugal on June 3 for rounds 13 and 14.
ETCC ROUNDS 5 & 6
MONJE AND SEAT DOMINATE IN AUSTRIA
Fernando Monje, driving a SEAT León TDi, took back-to-back victories at the Salzburgring despite having to fight his way through the field in both races. Starting from 11th on the grid in Race 1 and 8th in Race 2, Monje twice carefully picked his way through to the front and, with an extra 3 Super 2000 Championship points for qualifying on pole position, takes the maximum 23
points away from Austria. Monjes lead in S2000 with only two races remaining is now 12 points, with both Peter Rikli (Honda Civic) and Petr Fulín (BMW 320si) still able to clinch the title.
In the Single-Make Trophy, there was one win and one second place apiece for Norways Stian Paulsen and Andreas Pfister from Germany. Just one point separates the pair heading for the final pair of races.
The honours were also split in the Super 1600 category, with victories going to the two Ford Fiesta drivers Kevin Krammes and Paulo Necchi. Its now only these two that can win the S1600 crown, with Krammes leading Necchi by 17 points.
Finally, the Super Production category saw both victories go to Russias Nikolay Karamyshev, who has extended his head over Aleksandar Toić to 11 points. The pair made contact several times during the second race so we can expect the two races at Imola to be anything but straightforward!