Tarquini is 33 points ahead of Yvan Muller in the title tussle with 55 points still up for grabs in Sunday’s two races after he finished Race 1 in fourth from seventh on the grid.

But with the Italian set to line up P14 for both counters in his BRC Racing Team-run Hyundai i30 N TCR, his chances of scoring points have diminished.

“I make a fantastic start and this is was the key of the first race,” said the WTCR OSCARO leader. “I knew it was a good chance to score points because in the second and third races I am back in the grid and I took the chance today.

“Everything was perfect, start, approaching Mandarin, braking for Lisboa, I managed to be fourth even with Norbi [Michelisz] behind me so it was the best move of the season in terms of starting.

“I didn’t have the pace to follow the three in front of me, we are struggling a little bit with engine performance.
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"My feeling was not very good so I decided to keep the position. Fortunately, Norbi managed to be behind me, I was not under pressure and this helped me a lot so I could do the race without pressure.
"The gap is smaller, Yvan tomorrow has a great chance to score a lot of points. His pace is very good and he showed this today. His start was also very good and it will be very, very close [for the title].”

Of his title prospects, Muller, who is set to start fifth and sixth in Race 2 and Race 3 respectively, said: There are not many scenarios, I have to do my best. I will see at the end what will be the result. I still have a lot of points to make up on him, so I will try to avoid any problems.”
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