WTCC Valencia 2: Thompson doubles up

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Alain Menu, Chevrolet, WTCC, Valencia, 2007James Thompson triumphed in what was easily the best world touring car race of the year. He added a second victory to the one he earned earlier in the day.

Thompson stormed through to win from eighth while BMW team mates Jorg Muller and Andy Priaulx disputed second place.

The race got off to a much more orderly start than the first one with Priaulx moving ahead of Michael Jourdain to take third behind Muller and Luca Rangoni. Rangoni helpfully moved aside for Priaulx at the final turn on lap four.

This gave Priaulx some relief from a tough scrap between the Seats of Yvan Muller and Jordi Gene. But they were shortly passed by Thompson’s Alfa, which was clearly several kph faster down the main straight thanks to its absence of success ballast.

Priaulx and Jorg Muller were scrapping furiously for the lead with Muller defending very strongly. But Thompson shortly cruised up behind them and got past with little effort at all.

The Seats took several laps to pass the independent Rangoni, allowing the three Chevrolets of Rob Huff, Alain Menu and Nicola Larini to catch them. Huff and Gene tangled, taking one Lacetti out of the equation.

Rangoni’s team mate Sergio Hernandez also joined in and the pair ran side-by-side for successive corners on at least two laps. But each time Rangoni prevailed.

Thompson was untouchable up front while Muller and Priaulx unleashed their full arsenal of tricks, dodges and weaves. Muller came out on top as the narrow, twisty Valencia track offered too few opportunities for Priaulx.

The left Thompson a thrilled winner for the N Technology team who’ve had a barren start to the year. Muller and Priaulx both scored but, crucially, their team mate and championship leader Augusto Farfus didn’t feature in the points in either race.

Yvan Muller was fourth and Nicola Larini again quietly picked up some valuable points with fifth.

The next round takes place on the streets of Pau in France in two weeks’ time.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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