Muller, Tarquini Share Wins at Curitiba

Yvan Muller started off great during last weekend's season opening Curitiba event, as the Frenchman led Chevrolet's trio into an impressive 1-2-3 finish at the end of Race 1. With the race being influenced by heavy rain, Muller's pole position counted a lot in establishing an early lead on Sunday.

After two laps driving behind the safety car, Muller set the early pace, as he was briefly challenged by Jordi Gene for the lead in the first few laps. However, the SEAT driver ran wide in both the Esse de Baixa and Entrada do Miolo and eventually dropped out of lead contention and down to 10th place, leaving the Chevrolet drivers Robert Huff and Alain Menu worry-less in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

SEAT's Gabriele Tarquini managed to cross the finish line in 4th place, ahead of BMW duo Andy Priaulx and Augusto Farfus, while the SEAT León TDIs driven by Jordi Gener and Tom Coronel ended the first race in 7th and 8th place respectively.

It’s great to win and get fourth in the second race so I'm very happy. The race was complicated because at the beginning there was some standing water. Then the track dried out and to be on the wet tyres on a dry track was not easy. After five laps I wanted to save the tyres because I knew it was drying but I was saving a bit too much and when Huff came up behind me I had to wake up,” said Muller.

With the Top 8 reversed on the grid of the second race, it was pretty clear that champions SEAT would strike back and clinch a win of their own on Sunday. And that's exactly what they did, with reigning world champion Gabriele Tarquini grabbing his first win of the new season on a much drier race.

Starting from pole position, Tom Coronel ran wide early in the race and gave Jordi Gene the lead, while Tarquini was followed by Chevrolet's winning trio after only a couple of laps. After 3 laps, Tarquini finally passed Gene for the lead, which he never let go until the finish line. The duo actually broke away from the pack after a couple of laps, leaving the 3 Chevrolets battling for the last place on podium.

Eventually, it was Menu who managed to take 3rd place, while followed by Muller, Huff, Farfus – who took his teammate Andy Priaulx out of the race early on – Monteiro, Nykjær and Michelisz.

We have no team orders so it was a great race. I had a tough time over the winter but in qualifying the car was great. The plan was to get a podium and maybe a win and I did that so it’s a fantastic start to the season. The SR-Sport team have done a fantastic job. I feel really satisfied and this victory is special. Last year I knew I could fight for the title but this year my plan is to score some victories and the first one is here,” said Tarquini.
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