Farfus falls short at Brno
Augusto Farfus' hopes of taking the WTCC lead were dealt a blow after the BMW driver failed to finish either race at Brno.
Last Updated: 21/06/09 5:59pm
Augusto Farfus' hopes of taking the lead of the World Touring Car Championship were dealt a blow after the BMW driver failed to finish either race at Brno in the Czech Republic.
Heading into the weekend a mere three points behind championship leader Yvan Muller, Farfus started on pole position for race one of the afternoon - his rival starting way down in 13th place on the grid.
However, the worst possible outcome befell Farfus after he caused a pile-up at the very first corner.
The Brazilian was nudged into a spin after trying to squeeze out team-mate and fellow front-row starter Andy Priaulx before also collecting the Seat of Jordi Gene and the Chevrolets of Nicola Larini, Alain Menu and Rob Huff.
Seat's Gabriele Tarquini inherited the lead but Alex Zanardi subsequently passed his Italian compatriot following a safety car period and held on to take the chequered flag.
Meanwhile, Jorg Muller fought his way through from eighth place to secure second, with Tarquini rounding out the podium positions.
Yvan Muller's weekend then got even better after the reverse grid meant that his eighth place in race one handed him pole for the second race.
However, it was Spain's Sergio Hernandez, Zanardi's team-mate, who claimed his first WTCC win as Muller finished second to take eight valuable points.
Farfus' dismal day continued as he retired once again, this time suffering a mechanical failure after just one lap.
He therefore drops to third in the championship, 12 points behind Muller, with Tarquini moving up to second place to lie 10 points adrift of the defending champion.
Speaking of his error in race one, Farfus said: "It was my own mistake. I am very sorry to the others who were taken out of the race. There is not much more to say."
But, having considered himself at a disadvantage during weekend, points leader Muller was delighted to retain his position at the top of the standings.
He said: "BMW were unbeatable here so we couldn't play with them but in the end they played among themselves and went off. I thought I would leave Brno not leading the championship so I'm happy that's not the case."
Zanardi, meanwhile, was happy to have avoided the carnage to take his first win of the season.
"It was definitely a mess but I managed to pass through it unhurt," the former F1 driver said.
"There's always a lot of action in our races and today what happened was in my favour."