WTCC 2011 - Macau, Race Report

After 24 races spanning 12 countries, the 2011 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) drew to a close on 20 November 2011 in Macau, where the title was settled by a slender three points.

Yvan Muller approached the event with a healthy 20 point lead over Chevrolet team-mate Rob Huff, but it was the latter that took first blood, overcoming a leg cramp to secure pole position with a best time of 2:30.881, with Muller just behind.

Race one saw Alain Menu, who had already cemented third in the championship, remove himself from the weekend’s action with an early accident. Where Menu had no luck, Huff and Muller, in the other Chevrolet Cruze race cars, pulled away from the field to celebrate Huff’s seventh win of the season. Content to avoid risks, Muller enjoyed a comfortable second place, while Gabriele Tarquini completed the podium.

With Muller starting in eighth for race two, Huff seized his opportunity and raced past the front row pairing of Franz Engstler and Michel Nykjær, although Tom Coronel got the better of all three and led Huff by the end of the first lap. Coronel slowly fell into the grips of Huff, and the Englishman disposed of him on lap three. Muller drove a safe race which lead him to third place and the title, by just three points.

Mirroring the fight for the championship, Nykjær’s two YOKOHAMA Drivers’ Trophy wins in Macau were not enough to secure the title, with Denmark’s Kristian Poulsen beating him by two points.