Brno: Zanardi wins race 1 The BMW cars played with their opposition in the first race at Brno. Taking four of the top five positions the German manufacturer dominated, with only Alain Menu’s Chevrolet in third to upset the party. Alessandro Zanardi took his first win from pole position, but it wasn’t as easy as that. At the start Félix Porteiro came up from third to take the lead into the first corner. Tiago Monteiro clashed with Gabriele Tarquini, which caused him to fall back down the grid. Chevrolet’s Robert Huff also lost places as the race began to settle. James Thompson on the other hand had a good start moving up to sixth to fight with Huff on the first lap and soon managed to overtook him. During the rest of the race Huff lost further positions to Yvan Muller, Augusto Farfus and later Jörg Müller. Another Brit to struggle in the race was Andy Priaulx who, unlike the other BMW cars, seemed to lack pace and ended up battling with the independent drivers in the closing stages.
Zanardi and Porteiro began the race from the front and remained there throughout, ahead of Menu. However, mid way through Porteiro was struggling with understeer and handed the lead to his team-mate who had more speed in his car. The top three drivers edged out a seven second lead over the rest of the field by the checkered flag. Farfus and Jörg Müller who made their way through the field from eighth and fifteenth to finish fourth and fifth demonstrated the potential of the BMW cars.
Yvan Muller who was eighth in race 1 will start from pole, with Thompson alongside him after finishing seventh; while Gabriele Tarquini saved a sixth place that enabled him to stretch his championship lead to 11 points.
The Independents' class was fiercely fought. Pierre-Yves Corthals led them through the first lap but was overtaken by Franz Engstler and Sergio Hernandez, who went on to fight for the win. Hernandez eventually crossed the line ahead, but only just as he had to weave across the line to keep the German behind him. Stefano D'Aste crashed into the barriers on the final lap.
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