BMW racers led both the Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy and Team Trophy standings after this weekend’s World Touring Car Championship rounds on the Shanghai International Circuit in China. Norbert Michelisz, who scored no points in Shanghai, held onto his lead in Drivers’ Trophy standings, and Tom Coronel, who finished third and fourth in Shanghai in his ROAL Motorsport 320 TC, strengthened ROAL’s hold on the Team Trophy lead.
But the Yokohama trophies are for independents; Chevrolet—the only factory team in the series this year—has already clinched the WTCC manufacturers’ championship, and Chevrolet racers hold the top three positions in the drivers’ championship going into the season finale in Macau.
Chevrolet’s Alain Menu won the first race in Shanghai while his teammate Robert Huff finished second. Yvan Muller, the third title contender, exited the race after coming together with BMW’s Norbert Michelisz on lap one. Michelisz continued, but scored no points. BMW racer Stefano D’Aste finished third and Coronel finished fourth.
Coronel led from the pole in race two, with D’Aste on his tail. Michelisz had to retire after he was hit by another car on lap one. By lap five, the two leading BMW racers had been demoted to fourth and fifth by the Chevrolet trio of Menu, Muller, and Huff. Three laps later, Muller hit Menu in a failed passing maneuver, enabling Huff to take the lead. While Muller and Menu went on to finish second and third on the track, Muller was eventually penalized for the incident, dropping him out of the points and promoting Coronel and D’Aste to third and fourth. The incident between Muller and Menu left Huff with a strong points lead going into the Macau finale.
While D’Aste remained third in Yokohama Drivers’ Trophy standings, he closed in on both Michelisz and second-place runner Pepe Oriola.
The championships will be decided in the season finale on the historic Guia street circuit in Macau on November 18.—Brian S. MorganBack to News