2012 FIA WTCC Race of the United States

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United States  2012 FIA WTCC Race of the United States
Round details
Sonoma (WTCC) layout.png
Round 9 of 12 in the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, United States.
Date 23 September, 2012
Location Sonoma, United States
Course Sonoma Raceway
4.032 km
Race One
Laps 13
Pole position
Driver Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet
Time 1:45.232
Podium
First France Yvan Muller Chevrolet
Second United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet
Third Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport
Fastest Lap
Driver France Yvan Muller Chevrolet
Time 1:48.088
Race Two
Laps 13
Podium
First United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet
Second Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport
Third Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing Team
Fastest Lap
Driver France Yvan Muller Chevrolet
Time 1:47.732

The 2012 FIA WTCC Race of the United States was the ninth round of the 2012 World Touring Car Championship season and the maiden running of the FIA WTCC Race of the United States. It was held on 23 September 2012 at the Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, United States.

Background[edit]

Coming into the event after the two month break after Brazil, it was Yvan Muller was leading the championship 17 points ahead of his nearest rival and teammate Robert Huff. Norbert Michelisz was leading the Yokohama Independents' Trophy.

In the days leading up to the event, two new drivers were entered. Italian driver Felice Tedeschi was entered by Proteam Racing to drive the BMW 320 TC which had last been raced at Morocco in the hands of Isaac Tutumlu.[1]

Robb Holland became the first American driver to compete in the WTCC when he filled in for the financially troubled Pasquale di Sabatino at bamboo-engineering.[2]

Report[edit]

Free Practice[edit]

Alex MacDowall set the fastest time in Friday's shortened free practice session which saw Proteam debutant Tedeschi roll his car.[3] The accident ruled him out of the rest of the event.[4]

Chevrolet's Yvan Muller set the fastest time in Free Practice 1 with the Ford of Tom Chilton second. Wiechers-Sport driver Stefano D'Aste had an off-track excursion late in the session, covering the track with dust which resulted caught out both Darryl O'Young and MacDowall and brought out the red flag to allow the track to be cleaned. Holland made his way out onto the track in the Chevrolet Cruze for the last five minutes having awaited the arrival of a new FIA approved helmet to arrive.[5]

Lukoil Racing Team's Gabriele Tarquini was the fastest driver in Free Practice 2 ahead of the works Chevrolet of Muller and Tiago Monteiro's SUNRED León. Having been second fastest in the morning session, Chilton was tenth behind teammate James Nash. The fastest BMW was the Zengő Motorsport car of Michelisz in twelfth.[6]

Qualifying[edit]

Alain Menu secured pole position for Chevrolet's home race with Tarquini second ahead of Muller and Huff. Muller was fastest at the end of the interrupted Q1 session having spent much of the session trading fastest times with SEAT driver Tarquini. Tarquini's teammate, Aleksei Dudukalo brought out the red flag when he beached his car having gone off at turn one. ROAL Motorsport's Tom Coronel missed out on Q2 having spun on his final attempt, both Team AON drivers missed out on Q2 despite having been quick in practice. It had looked like Tarquini would set the fastest time in Q2 with Muller and Huff having failed to beat his time, but Menu took pole position on his final lap at the end of the session.[7]

Warm-Up[edit]

Muller led a Chevrolet 1-2-3 in the morning warm-up session with Tarquini the fastest non-Chevrolet runner.[8]

Race One[edit]

The action started on the first lap with Menu defending from Tarquini and forcing the Lukoil Racing driver off the track at the second corner. Further down the field moments later there was a pileup Stefano D'Aste, Darryl O'Young, Tom Chilton, Aleksei Dudukalo, Fernando Monje and Alberto Cerqui which forced the latter three into retirement. At the front, Muller and Huff were able to pass their teammate Menu who was then forced back into the pitlane after slowing with a power steering issue. Tom Coronel and Mehdi Bennani had an eventful couple of laps when the pair collided not once but twice, the second contact forcing the Moroccan into a spin and down the order. Just two laps from the end, Pepe Oriola stalled on the pit straight where his car was protected by waved yellows until the end of the race. Muller took the win ahead of Huff and Michelisz in third.[9]

Race Two[edit]

The reversed grid race saw D'Aste start from the pole position and he led away from the start. Bennani inherited the lead half way round the first lap when D'Aste spun off leaving three BMWs leading. Muller and Huff overtook Michelisz to take third and fourth while on the following lap, Monje crashed at turn five where his car was left for the rest of the race. The order at the front didn't change until lap four when Bennani spun on his own, handing the lead to Franz Engstler. The stranded Proteam BMW brought out the safety car two laps later, by which time Muller spun Engstler out of the lead for whiche he later earned himself a drive through penalty. The race restarted on lap eight when Coronel, continuing his charge through the field from the back of the grid, took eight place from Tom Boardman. Muller served his penalty on lap nine and Huff inherited the lead, the British driver now had to defend well from the BMW of Michelisz. On the final lap, Charles Ng was black flagged for ignoring an earlier black and orange flag for loose bodywork on his car. Huff took the win with Michelisz second and Tarquini third.[10]

Results[edit]

Qualifying[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Q1 Q2 Points
1 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:46.182 1:45.232 5
2 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 1:45.947 1:45.468 4
3 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:45.556 1:45.539 3
4 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 1:45.710 1:45.572 2
5 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 1:46.828 1:46.558 1
6 11 United Kingdom Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 1:46.939 1:46.578
7 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T 1:46.643 1:46.594
8 6 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 1:46.842 1:46.761
9 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 1:46.889 1:47.004
10 26 Italy Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 1:46.717 1:47.263
11 16 Italy Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 1:46.976 1:47.851
12 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1:46.976 no time
13 14 United Kingdom James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 1:47.000
14 7 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 1:47.050
15 88 Spain Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1:47.149
16 20 China Darryl O'Young Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1:47.167
17 23 United Kingdom Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 1:47.380
18 74 Spain Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1:47.434
19 22 United Kingdom Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1:47.436
20 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 1:47.546
21 29 United States Robb Holland bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 1:48.179
  • Bold denotes Pole position for second race.

Race 1[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 13 23:34.369 3 25
2 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 13 +0.564 4 18
3 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 13 +5.444 5 15
4 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 13 +8.847 2 12
5 11 United Kingdom Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 13 +11.803 6 10
6 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T 13 +12.422 7 8
7 6 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 13 +15.707 8 6
8 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 13 +16.341 20 4
9 26 Italy Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 13 +17.304 10 2
10 22 United Kingdom Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 13 +25.823 19 1
11 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 13 +30.314 9
12 23 United Kingdom Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 13 +34.388 17
13 29 United States Robb Holland bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 13 +40.092 21
14 20 China Darryl O'Young Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 13 +46.184 16
15 7 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 13 +47.864 14
16 74 Spain Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 10 +3 Laps 18
17 14 United Kingdom James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 9 +4 Laps 13
18 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 9 +4 Laps 1
NC 88 Spain Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 8 +5 Laps 15
Ret 16 Italy Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 1 Collision 11
Ret 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 0 Collision 12
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Race 2[edit]

Pos. No. Name Team Car C Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 United Kingdom Robert Huff Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 15 29:19.176 7 25
2 5 Hungary Norbert Michelisz Zengő Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 15 +0.320 6 18
3 3 Italy Gabriele Tarquini Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC 15 +1.199 9 15
4 8 Switzerland Alain Menu Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 15 +3.718 10 12
5 15 Netherlands Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC 15 +7.571 18 10
6 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Tuenti Racing SR León 1.6T 15 +8.207 4 8
7 11 United Kingdom Alex MacDowall bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 15 +12.682 5 6
8 22 United Kingdom Tom Boardman Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 15 +13.847 17 4
9 26 Italy Stefano D'Aste Wiechers-Sport BMW 320 TC Y 15 +14.220 1 2
10 6 Germany Franz Engstler Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 15 +15.643 3 1
11 74 Spain Pepe Oriola Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 15 +18.811 21
12 20 China Darryl O'Young Special Tuning Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 15 +21.656 15
13 16 Italy Alberto Cerqui ROAL Motorsport BMW 320 TC Y 15 +21.997 11
14 1 France Yvan Muller Chevrolet Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T 15 +23.467 8
15 23 United Kingdom Tom Chilton Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 15 +24.319 16
16 29 United States Robb Holland bamboo-engineering Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T Y 15 +25.184 19
17 14 United Kingdom James Nash Team Aon Ford Focus S2000 TC 15 +30.630 20
18 4 Russia Aleksei Dudukalo Lukoil Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 15 +41.557 12
Ret 25 Morocco Mehdi Bennani Proteam Racing BMW 320 TC Y 3 Collision 2
Ret 88 Spain Fernando Monje Tuenti Racing SEAT León WTCC Y 1 Collision 14
DSQ 7 Hong Kong Charles Ng Liqui Moly Team Engstler BMW 320 TC Y 15 Disqualified 13
  • Bold denotes Fastest lap.

Standings after the race[edit]

  • Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of drivers' standings.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Felice Tedeschi to race for Proteam at Sonoma". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Mills, Peter. "Sonoma WTCC: Robb Holland joins Bamboo Chevrolet line-up". Autosport. Haymarket Publishing. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "MacDowall tops shortened Sonoma test". Eurosport. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Felice Tedeschi to take no further part this weekend". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Mills, Peter. "WTCC Sonoma: Yvan Muller tops opening practice session for Chevrolet". Autosport. Haymarket Publishing. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Gabriele Tarquini fastest in Sonoma second practice session". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 22 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Auger, Matt. "Pole Position on the Menu for Alain". Touring-Cars.net. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Hudson, Neil. "Yvan Muller leads Chevrolet 1-2-3 in Sonoma warm up". TouringCarTimes. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "Muller wins first WTCC race in Sonoma". Eurosport. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Huff claims crucial WTCC victory". Eurosport. Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 24 September 2012. 
World Touring Car Championship
Previous race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Brazil
2012 World Touring Car Championship season Next race:
2012 FIA WTCC Race of Japan
Previous race:
none
FIA WTCC Race of the United States Next race:
2013 FIA WTCC Race of the United States