BMW 320 TC racer Franz Engstler scored his first World Touring Car Championship podium finish, third in race two, when the World Touring Car Championship series ran at Donington Park in the UK. Tom Coronel, driving a BMW 320 TC for Roberto Ravaglia’s ROAL Motorsport team, scored two fourth place finishes.
Chevrolet, the only factory team in the series this season, swept the podium in race one and finished first and second in race two. Chevrolet Cruze racers Yvan Muller and Rob Huff were first and second in both races, with their teammate Alain Menu coming across the line third in race one. Both races started in the dry and ended in wet conditions.
Coronel finished tenth in the first qualifying session, earning the race two pole under WTCC’s qualifying rules (the top ten finishers in Q1 are inverted to set the race two grid). He qualified eighth in session two, leaving him eighth on the grid for race one. BMW racer Colin Turkington qualified fifth while Engstler qualified seventh.
Coronel moved up to fourth early in race one, and held onto the position, finishing first among the non-Chevrolet racers. Engstler finished sixth, and BMW racers Kristian Poulsen and Colin Turkington finished ninth and tenth.
Coronel led briefly at the beginning of race two, but soon fell behind BMW racers Javier Villa and Engstler. Villa pitted with crash damage, Coronel went wide and fell back to fifth, eventually recovering to finish fourth, and Engstler led briefly until he was overtaken by the Chevrolets of Muller and Huff. Muller was behind Huff early in the race; he got by after he hit Huff’s car. He was penalized three grid positions for the next race, although the penalty was suspended for two races, and he was allowed to keep his win.
The Donington event was number seven in WTCC’s twelve-event schedule. The next races will be run at Oschersleben in Germany on July 31.
After Donington Coronel was fourth in drivers’ points behind Huff, Muller, and Menu, and the combined BMW customer teams were second in the manufacturers’ championship, behind Chevrolet and ahead of SEAT.—Brian S. Morgan, motorsports editor, bmwcca.org
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