Augusto Farfus kept his slim World Touring Car title chances alive with his fifth win of the season in Sunday's second wet race at Okayama.
Farfus made a sound getaway from pole and had BMW teammate Andy Priaulx riding shotgun for him – from eighth on the grid – by the exit of the first corner, thanks to carnage off the line.
Jorg Muller's fast starting BMW shot up to the front off the line and he tried to move inside Tiago Monteiro's SEAT for second place on the main straight. Monteiro squeezed Muller onto the wet grass, where the German lost control of his car and speared into the side of Monteiro. Both cars spun off at the first corner, taking the SEATs of Jordi Gene and championship leader Gabriele Tarquini with them, as well as the Chevrolet of Rob Huff.
That left Priaulx in second, with Tarquini's main title rival Yvan Muller surviving in third and Alain Menu – who had only missed out on the race two pole in the final corners of race one – up to fourth from eighth.
Farfus and Priaulx ran a controlled race up front – the only drama coming when backmarker Kristian Poulsen spun his car in front of the lead pack on the main straight.
Muller was grateful just to take a handful of points back from Tarquini in third, with Menu unable to make any impression on him from behind.
Jordi Gene escaped the first corner in fifth, but carried damage with his rear bumper falling off during the race. The Spaniard once again played a team role and gave away four places – two to Chevrolets – in the last two laps to allow Tarquini through.
Rickard Rydell also moved over to give Tarquini two points for seventh, behind the Cruzes of Nicola Larini and Rob Huff, who charged back through the pack to sixth after emerging from the first corner in 16th.
Stefano D'Aste took advantage to claim the independent class win in 10th after Tom Coronel was delayed by another spate of off-road excursions at Turn 2 on the first lap, and Felix Porteiro went backwards from an early sixth place to 11th. Coronel finished 13th, behind the BMW of Sergio Hernandez.
Lada had looked to be in for a good points haul with Jaap van Lagen sixth and James Thompson eighth, but both pulled into the pits to retire within a lap of each other.
The charity of his teammates means Tarquini is two points ahead of Muller heading to the season finale in Macau, with Farfus a further 11 back.
Pos Driver Car Time/Gap
1. Augusto Farfus BMW 26m55.015s
2. Andy Priaulx BMW 0.761s
3. Yvan Muller SEAT 3.298s
4. Alain Menu Chevrolet 5.878s
5. Nicola Larini Chevrolet 13.725s
6. Rob Huff Chevrolet 17.538s
7. Gabriele Tarquini SEAT 24.104s
8. Rickard Rydell SEAT 26.212s
9. Jordi Gene SEAT 27.272s
10. Stefano D'Aste BMW 35.619s
11. Felix Porteiro BMW 36.900s
12. Sergio Hernandez BMW 37.866s
13. Tom Coronel SEAT 41.110s
14. Joao Paulo de Oliveira SEAT 49.317s
15. Tom Boardman SEAT 58.394s
16. Franz Engstler BMW 1m03.206s
17. Jorg Muller BMW 1m07.306s
18. Alex Zanardi BMW 1m10.579s
19. Seiji Ara BMW 1m18.816s
20. Masaki Kano BMW 1m40.690s
Jaap van Lagen Lada 9 laps
James Thompson Lada 8 laps
Henry Ho BMW 6 laps
Kristian Poulsen BMW 6 laps
Norbertu Taniguchi BMW 3 laps
Tiago Monteiro SEAT 0 laps