Huisman wins FIA WTCC finale as Priaulx takes title

Duncan Huisman won the final round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Macau on Sunday, but all attention was on second-placed BMW team-mate Andy Priaulx who captured the title.

Priaulx was assured of the crown early in the race when his only remaining title rival, Dirk Muller, crashed out into the barriers at Lisboa on lap three.

By that stage of the race, Priaulx had already climbed from seventh on the grid up to third, and he took another place on lap five when he got past Alain Menu for second spot under braking for Lisboa.

Priaulx then set about chasing early race leader Huisman, who got past pole man Peter Terting at the start, and was just one second behind the Dutchman when the Safety Car was called out on lap six following a four-car collision at Reservoir Bend. That incident involved Adriano de Micheli, Peter Terting, Peter Scharmach and Marc Hennerici.

At the restart on lap 10, Priaulx had a quick look down the inside of Huisman at Lisboa but could not find a way past and, after setting himself up perfectly on the final lap, he had to stay in formation because yellow warning flags were being displayed for Nicola Larini’s stranded Chevrolet.

And although Huisman made a mistake at the penultimate corner and brushed the wall at Reservoir Bend, Priaulx could not find a way past and finished 0.257 seconds behind.

Alain Menu took third on the road for Chevrolet but was later excluded on technical grounds. That left Augusto Farfus Jr. in an Alfa Romeo third overall ahead of Alex Zanardi in the BMW and Jordi Gene.

Alfa Romeo’s Augusto Farfus Jr. won the first round of the FIA World Touring Car Championship at Macau on Sunday in a race that ended his team-mate Fabrizio Giovanardi’s title hopes.

Farfus took the lead of the restarted event on the entry to Mandarin Bend on lap five and then proceeded to drive a defensive race under pressure from early leader Priaulx.

Although the Brazilian slowed the pace at the front of the field in a bid to help team-mate Giovanardi to climb the order, it all went wrong for the Italian on the penultimate lap when he crashed out of sixth place at Police.

With BMW’s Priaulx taking second place, Giovanardi’s exit left him too far adrift of the new world championship leader to be able to take the crown in the second event.

Although Priaulx could not get past Farfus for the win, the Briton’s own hopes of winning the title received a massive boost on the final lap when remaining rival Dirk Muller damaged his car after being hit by Nicola Larini. That dropped the German from fourth place down to 10th – and leaving him seven points adrift of Priaulx in the title chase.

Rickard Rydell finished third with Chevrolet duo Nicola Larini and Alain Menu taking fourth and fifth place overall. Duncan Huisman was sixth for BMW ahead of James Thompson in the Alfa Romeo.

The reverse grid format means that Priaulx will start seventh for the second race with SEAT’s Peter Terting starting from pole position.

The race had to be restarted after a first lap pile-up at Lisboa when Jorg Muller collided with Chevrolet’s Rob Huff after being tapped from behind and swiping the tyre barriers. The two cars blocked the track. Home hero Andre Couto crashed out of the lead on the opening lap of the restarted race.

WTCC – Macau Race 2 results:

1) Duncan Huisman, BMW 320i, 37:51.579
2) Andy Priaulx, BMW 320i, + 0.257
3) Alain Menu, Chevrolet Lacetti, + 1.253
4) Augusto Farfus Jr., Alfa Romeo 156, + 2.428
5) Alessandro Zanardi, BMW 320i, + 3.179
6) Jordi Gene, SEAT Leon, + 3.575
7) Peter Terting, SEAT Leon, + 4.193
8) Rickard Rydell, SEAT Leon, + 4.969
9) Giuseppe Ciro, BMW 320i, + 36.582
10) Patrick Bernhardt, Ford Focus, +1:21.482
11) Nicola Larini, Chevrolet Lacetti, + 2 Laps

Not Classified:

Adriano De Micheli, Honda Accord Euro R, 4
Robert Huff, Chevrolet Lacetti, 4
Peter Scharmach, BMW 320i, 4
Marc Hennerici, BMW 320i, 4
Carl Rosenblad, BMW 320i, 3
Dirk Muller, BMW 320i, 2
James Thompson, Alfa Romeo 156, 2
Stefano D'Aste, BMW 320i, 1

Race 1 results:

1) Augusto Farfus Jr., Alfa Romeo 156, 42:11.373
2) Andy Priaulx, BMW 320i, + 0.496
3) Rickard Rydell, SEAT Leon, + 1.698
4) Nicola Larini, Chevrolet Lacetti, + 4.427
5) Alain Menu, Chevrolet Lacetti, + 13.706
6) Duncan Huisman, BMW 320i, + 14.287
7) James Thompson, Alfa Romeo 156, + 14.440
8) Peter Terting, SEAT Leon, + 15.172
9) Antonio Garcia, BMW 320i, + 16.756
10) Dirk Muller, BMW 320i, + 20.882
11) Stefano D'aste, BMW 320i, + 25.039
12) Carl Rosenblad, BMW 320i, + 31.965
13) Alessandro Zanardi, BMW 320i, + 32.574
14) Marc Hennerici, BMW 320i, + 39.276
15) Adriano De Micheli, Honda Accord Euro R, + 43.148
16) Peter Scharmach, BMW 320i, + 43.995
17) Michael Funke, Ford Focus, + 1 Lap
18) Jordi Gene, SEAT Leon, + 1 Lap
19) Fabrizio Giovanardi, Alfa Romeo 156, + 2 Laps
20) Simon Harrison, Honda Accord Euro R, + 2 Laps
21) Patrick Bernhardt, Ford Focus, + 3 Laps

Not Classified:

Andre Couto, Alfa Romeo 156, 2
Jorg Muller, BMW 320i, 0
Robert Huff, Chevrolet Lacetti, 0
Tom Coronel, Seat Toledo Cupra, 0
Giuseppe Ciro, BMW 320i, 0