Alain Menu claimed his first victory of the season after an action packed race that saw him surviving clashes with Tom Coronel and Stefano DAste who completed the podium in the order.
After a few skirmishes with his Italian competitor, Menu managed to outbrake him with a great manoeuvre at Turn 2. Then he spent the final laps defending the lead from a rushing Coronel.
For most of the race Menu, Coronel and DAste were involved in an exciting fight with Norbert Michelisz, Franz Engstler, Rob Huff, Pepe Oriola and Yvan Muller. The outcome of the battle was affected by an oil stain on the track that sent a few drivers wide on the gravel. They all rejoined, but some of them lost their positions. However, Michelisz and Engstler were able to finish in fourth and fifth respectively, while Muller could not achieve any better than eighth. James Nash was very unlucky; on his way to claim Fords best result, he retired from 11th on lap 9 for the consequences of a collision.
Yvan Muller took a comfortable win in the first race at Valencia. The reigning world champion sprinted from pole position to lead the field into the first corner, and then pushed to create a gap.
Behind him Gabriele Tarquini
and Tom Coronel had a close fight for second place, which left Muller to easily manage his leading margin. Mullers team-mates, Rob Huff and Alain Menu, had to settle with fourth and fifth, as they were not able to find a gap to attack the Tarquini-Coronel duo. Pepe Oriola took the chequered flag in sixth place, winning the Yokohama Trophy from Norbert Michelisz. Franz Engstler, Tiago Monteiro
and Darryl OYoung filled the remaining point-scoring positions, while Stefano DAste emerged victorious from the battle for 11th that involved James Nash (12th at the end the best result so far for Ford) and Alberto Cerqui. Mehdi Bennani completed a brilliant recovery, climbing to 14th after dropping to 24th because of a first lap incident. (fiawtcc.com)