The first race of the WTCC at Monza would see drama from the start. Pole sitter Tom Coronel stalled on the line during the formation lap. The Dutch-man managed to get the car going and retake his place. This had set the tone for the start, a Coronel stalled for a second time. This allowed Mehid Bennani to shoot into the lead off the line. He was followed by his team mate Tom Chilton, while top Honda Norbert Michelisz was in hot pursute.
Michelisz wasted no time in passing Chilton on lap 2, before setting out after Bennani. It took just one lap for the Hungarian to make his move. A dive down the inside at Parabolica looked like a formality. But the pair made contact which saw them both off with damage. It would be a poor start for Volvo after Nestor Girolami followed Michelisz passed Chilton, only to retire with damage.
The carnage left Cilton leading infront of rookie Esteban Guerrieri and a hard charging Rob Huff. Desparate to make up for a poor opening round, Huff made hs way passed the Chevrolet for second. Huff tried to find a way passed the world’s widest Citroen but be couldn’t manage it.
Behind the leaders the fight was on for the final podium spot. Tiago Monteiro and Thed Bjork caught and passed Guerrieri’s Citroen with a hand full of laps to go. The Honda then began to pull away from the Volvo to secure the final podium spot and the valuble points that come with it.
After stalling on the grid, Coronel would recover to sixth just infront of John Filippi. Nicky Catsburg would bring the third Volvo home in eight infront kf debtant Kevin Gleason in the Lada. An impressive run saw him in the points on his debut. Daniel Nagy would round out the top 10 for Zengo Motorsport.
The second race of the day is due to start at 14:15 CET. The battle between Bjork and Monterio is far from over as they line up on the front row, with Rob Huff just behind.