WTCC 2011 Shanghai Race Report

Frenchman Yvan Muller secured his eighth victory of the 2011 FIA World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) at the penultimate race weekend in Shanghai, China, on 6 November 2011. This and a fourth-place finish in the first of the weekend’s races added 37 points to his tally, putting him 20 points ahead of his closest rival Rob Huff as they head to the Macau finale.

Chevrolet’s Alain Menu clinched his second consecutive pole position at the Shanghai Tianma Circuit with a fastest lap time of 1:05.766 while team-mate Huff locked out the front row for Chevrolet with a second fastest lap time of 1:07.331. The Brit also secured pole position for the second of the weekend’s races on the top-ten reverse grid. Colin Turkington returned to the WTCC in style by securing a third-place start on the grid while also setting the fastest time amongst the YOKOHAMA Drivers’ Trophy competitors.

Huff managed to keep second place at the start to put the pressure on Menu. However, a hard-charging Turkington was determined for a strong result and managed to pass his fellow Brit before chasing down leader Menu.

Menu held onto his position to take his fifth win of the season with Turkington second and Huff third to stay in contention for the drivers’ title, despite Muller finishing fourth.

In the second of the weekend’s races, Gabriele Tarquini managed to take the lead from pole-sitter Huff at the start with the pair then colliding to send Huff off the track, allowing Muller through to second place. Muller needed just three laps to pass Tarquini and begin generating a gap from the ensuing pack.

The 2010 WTCC Champion maintained his lead from Tarquini until the chequered flag, putting him 20 points ahead of Huff in the drivers’ standings after the Brit secured a third-place finish. Turkington finished fourth to claim his second YOKOHAMA Drivers’ Trophy victory of the weekend.

The 2011 WTCC Drivers’ Championship fight will go down to the wire as the series heads to the final race weekend in Macau on 20 November 2011. With 50 points available at the season finale, Huff will be in pursuit of his first WTCC title despite Muller currently holding the advantage.