Muller dominates opening FIA WTCC race in Macau

IANS| Updated: Nov 17, 2013, 22:53 PM IST

Macau: Newly-crowned FIA World Touring Car (WTCC) champion Yvan Muller dominated the opening WTCC race here on Sunday.

The French driver started the race as favourite after qualifying a second clear of the field, and made most of the pre-race form by storming to a 1.7 second lead on the opening lap. From there, Muller cruised to a trouble-free victory.

The battle for second was significantly tighter, with Tiago Monteiro and Robert Huff staging a tough fight for the minor spots on the podium. Monteiro ultimately did enough to take second, although the final gap was just 0.3s.

Norbert Michelisz took fourth, ahead of Alex MacDowall and James Nash. Meanwhile, Marc Basseng, Pepe Oriola and Stefano D`Aste staged a thrilling battle for seventh place, eventually finishing in that order.

Britons Tom Chilton and James Thompson didn`t fare much better. Thompson retired on the opening lap after his car struck mechanical problems, while Chilton was out a lap later, whose RML Chevrolet was too damaged to continue after the driver hit the wall.