2012 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal
|Round 7 of 12 in the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal.|
|Date||3 June, 2012|
|Course||Autódromo Internacional do Algarve
|Driver||Gabriele Tarquini||Lukoil Racing Team|
|Second||Gabriele Tarquini||Lukoil Racing Team|
|Second||Pepe Oriola||Tuenti Racing Team|
|Third||Tom Coronel||ROAL Motorsport|
The 2012 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal was the seventh round of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season and the sixth running of the FIA WTCC Race of Portugal. It was held on 3 June, 2012 at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve in Portimão, Portugal. The first race was won by Yvan Muller for Chevrolet and the second race was won by Alain Menu, also for Chevrolet.
James Thompson and TMS Sport made their last scheduled appearance of the season with the Lada Granta WTCC. Tom Boardman switched to the new SEAT turbocharged engine, having run the TDi engine since Spain.
For the Race of Portugal weekend, Menu would be playing the role of comic book character Michel Vaillant. His Chevrolet Cruze raced in special Vaillante colours and Menu himself wore a special race suit and dyed his hair to look like the French comic book racer.
It was a Chevrolet 1-2-3 in the second practice session, with Yvan Muller topping the timing pages ahead of Menu and Huff.
Tarquini took his second pole position of the season with Yvan Muller second for Chevrolet and Norbert Michelisz third for Zengő Motorsport. The race two reversed grid would see Tuenti Racing Team's Pepe Oriola starting on position with Menu starting second. The session was stopped early on when Tom Chilton suffered a suspension failure, he and his team mate James Nash would form an all Ford back row.
Muller went fastest in Sunday morning's warm-up session ahead of Chevrolet team mates of Huff and Menu.
Muller overtook Tarquini on the outside into turn one to take the lead, while further down the field, Aleksei Dudukalo and Gábor Wéber made contact and ended up in the gravel. Both drivers were able to get back on track and return to the pits. Muller held on to take the win ahead of Tarquini and Huff, with Michelisz the winning independent after coming home in fourth. Menu had climbed up to fifth position while the only remaining non-SEAT engined León of Tiago Monteiro spent much of the race defending his seventh place.
A near repeat of race one saw the Chevrolet of Menu overtake pole sitter Oriola before the first corner. Further back, Mehdi Bennani made contact with Stefano D'Aste which earned him a suspended grid penalty. Tarquini had been defending from the Chevrolets of Muller and Huff when he took too much kerb, allowing Muller through. Huff and Tarquini made contact, spinning the Italian out of the race while Muller spun at his own accord. ROAL Motorsport's Alberto Cerqui took advantage of Muller's off to take fifth, a position that was later switched on the main straight. Menu took the victory ahead of podium debutant Oriola with Tom Coronel third.
- Bold denotes Pole position for second race.
- Bold denotes Fastest lap.
- Bold denotes Fastest lap.
Standings after the round
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of drivers' standings.
- NEW ENGINE FOR TOM BOARDMAN, WTCC.
- Menu gets comic role for Portugal, Touring-Cars.net.
- Gabriele Tarquini fastest in Portimão FP1, TouringCarTimes.
- Yvan Muller fastest in second free practice at Portimão, TouringCarTimes.
- Tarquini claims second WTCC pole of 2012 at Algarve, Autosport.com.
- Yvan Muller fastest in Portugal warm up, TouringCarTimes.
- Muller beats Tarquini to race one win, Touring-Cars.net.
- Mehdi Bennani given suspended penalty for D'Aste incident, TouringCarTimes.
- Menu wins race two as 'Vaillant', Touring-Cars.net.
|World Touring Car Championship|
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Austria
|2012 World Touring Car Championship season||Next race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil
2011 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal
|FIA WTCC Race of Portugal||Next race:
2013 FIA WTCC Race of Portugal