*Huff scores first 2019 podium as Monteiro misses out in odd circumstances
Johan Kristoffersson executed the WTCR JVCKENWOOD Flee of Japan weekend a winner alternatively it’s Esteban Guerrieri who leaves Suzuka on high on the #RoadToMalaysia, the build the 2019 WTCR – FIA World Touring Automotive Cup presented by OSCARO will be determined at the Sepang spacious-finale in December.
After languishing in P10 in Flee 2, Honda-powered Guerrieri – competing at the Japanese assemble’s dwelling tune – hit support to consume Kristoffersson (SLR Volkswagen) dwelling in Flee 3. Those aspects, added to his Flee 1 victory, potential the ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport driver tops the standings with a six-level profit over Norbert Michelisz, who took the Flee 2 resolve for BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse.
Kevin Ceccon executed the Flee 3 podium in fresh circumstances when he profited from a “miscommunication” by Tiago Monteiro. The Portuguese, thinking the bound had drag its direction under the protection automobile, headed to the pits in error from third. While he swiftly realised his mistake, it used to be too leisurely to the extent Team Mulsanne’s Ceccon and Cyan Racing Lynk & Co’s Thed Björk had moved ahead.
By re-passing Björk, Monteiro obtained a 10-2d time penalty for overtaking under the protection automobile and slipped to P15 within the final train. Ceccon, meanwhile, used to be demoted to sixth after he picked up a 5-2d penalty for a clash with Take hold of Huff earlier within the bound. Björk subsequently inherited third with Gabriele Tarquini challenging up to fourth and Andy Priaulx taking fifth following his hefty Flee 1 atomize. With 24 races drag, Björk is third within the standings.
Huff scored his first 2019 podium with 2d map in Flee 2 at the wheel of his SLR VW Motorsport Volkswagen Golf GTI R5 as Tarquini held off the charging Ceccon for third.
PWR Racing’s leading rookie Mikel Azcona used to be eighth in Flee 2 however a sluggish beginning meant he used to be unable to convert his third-ideal Second Qualifying lap into a Flee 3 podium for CUPRA.
Michelisz’s 53.888s ideal in Flee 2 earned the Hungarian the TAG Heuer Most exciting Lap Trophy. Nevertheless, with eighth map the ideal he would possibly perchance well well also muster within the closing bound of the weekend, he’ll head to WTCR Flee of Macau subsequent month enjoying resolve-up within the title trudge. Within the battle to be crowned high group, Cyan Racing Lynk & Co narrowly heads ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport.
Japan’s Ryuichiro Tomita scored the ideal enact of the wildcard drivers with P17 in Flee 2 however joined group-mate Ritomo Miyata on the DNF list for Flee 3. Hong Kong’s Jim Ka To executed all three races on his WTCR / OSCARO debut.
RACE 3 REPORT: KRISTOFFERSSON CONVERTS DHL POLE INTO VICTORY
Johan Kristoffersson took victory in an incident-packed Flee 3 as runner-up Esteban Guerrieri moved support to the high of the WTCR – FIA World Touring Automotive Cup presented by OSCARO.
Kristoffersson started from the DHL Pole Assign, however misplaced out to fellow entrance-row starter Tiago Monteiro from the getaway, simplest to nudge the Portuguese at Flip 2 and resolve the lead for his 2d WTCR / OSCARO victory.
The Suzuka bound used to be interrupted by a safety automobile length at the dwell of the first lap after wildcard entry Ritomo Miyata collided with Tom Coronel and Ma Qinghua, leaving the Audi and CUPRA stranded in a gravel entice.
The action resumed on lap eight with Kristoffersson leading from Monteiro and Guerrieri, who had benefited within the beginning from third map starter Mikel Azcona stalling within the road. It soon became sure from radio conversations that KCMG’s Monteiro would within the break stop his 2d map to ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Guerrieri to abet his fellow Honda driver’s motive within the title bound. They swapped positions on lap 28 of 30.
Team Mulsanne’s Kevin Ceccon used to be the man on the transfer in his Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR. Having started seventh, he’d misplaced a map leaving the grid however the Italian nudged Take hold of Huff to retake the map, then passed Gabriele Tarquini and Andy Priaulx on consecutive laps.
Leisurely within the bound Ceccon additionally got by Thed Björk for fourth, then claimed a shock podium in fresh circumstances. The bound executed within the support of the Audi R8 safety automobile after wildcard Tomita Ryuichiro went off. Monteiro then nearly pulled into the pitlane early moderately than resolve the chequered flag, allowing the Alfa to procure ahead.
“A miscommunication, I would disclose,” he explained. “I assumed it used to be the final lap and in level of truth it be essential to enact the lap of direction. I used to be speaking on the radio, didn’t listen and started coming into the pits. I came out merely away however Kevin passed me, so it’s moderately of fresh one because it’s mute the protection automobile. But the stewards make a decision esteem this. With the selections made this weekend, I’m truly at a loss for phrases. Very tricky to resolve.”
Monteiro executed fourth within the road ahead of Björk, Tarquini and Priaulx. Huff used to be eighth, while ninth used to be now not adequate for Flee 2 winner Norbert Michelisz to resolve his WTCR / OSCARO aspects lead. Jean-Karl Vernay executed the high 10 in his Audi.
The diversified aspects finishers were Nicky Catsburg, Benjamin Leuchter, Frédéric Vervisch, Néstor Girolami and Yvan Muller. KCMG’s Attila Tassi misplaced ninth map within the road with a 5-2d penalty for now not lining up within the factual map on the grid.
RACE 2 REPORT: MICHELISZ BEATS FOR FOURTH WIN
Norbert Michelisz grabbed the victory in a frantic reverse-grid Flee 2 at WTCR JVCKENWOOD Flee of Japan to retake the WTCR / OSCARO title profit.
The BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse driver started from the DHL Pole Assign and robustly defended his lead from fellow entrance-row starter Take hold of Huff off the road, then led the SLR VW Motorsport driver for the the relaxation of the 24 laps. Huff used to be ceaselessly within fluctuate of constructing a transfer, however Michelisz never gave the Briton any other to pass. The most straightforward shadow on Michelisz’s bound used to be being shown the dusky and white flag for riding requirements after challenging far to the merely off the road and into the pitlane exit to defend his lead from Huff.
At the support of the leading pair, Kevin Ceccon chased Gabriele Tarquini now not easy for the final podium map. The Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR drew alongside the BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse Hyundai i30 N TCR just a few times into Flip 1 and on one occasion Tarquini nudged Ceccon huge, however the younger Italian wasn’t moderately ready to assemble a transfer stick. “It used to be moderately scorching with Kevin,” admitted Tarquini. “He used to be the quickest driver within the bound.”
Thed Björk held of Tiago Monteiro, Johan Kristoffersson and Mikel Azcona for fourth, while Jean-Karl Vernay rose from P13 on the grid to enact ninth. Guerrieri, who started the bound sixth, slipped support to P10, banking protected aspects for the title and avoiding the ache of an incident.
SLR Volkswagen’s Benjamin Leuchter used to be P11, ahead of Néstor Girolami, Frédéric Vervisch and Yvan Muller. Yann Ehrlacher used to be the final aspects finisher in P15. Niels Langeveld retired following a clash with Augusto Farfus. Attila Tassi placed 24 after working off target.
RACE 1 REPORT: GUERRIERI WINS FOR HONDA
ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport’s Esteban Guerrieri claimed the WTCR / OSCARO aspects lead with a accurate opt from the DHL Pole Assign at Honda’s dwelling tune ahead of Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Niels Langeveld and KCMG’s Tiago Monteiro.
Originally, Comtoyou Team Audi Sport’s Frédéric Vervisch challenged Guerrieri for first map on the beginning air of Turns 1 and a pair of, which allowed group-mate Langeveld up the inside to resolve the lead. But on lap two the Dutch driver made a mistake at the final turn, which allowed Guerrieri to resolve a lead he would now not lose.
There used to be inappropriate perfect fortune for Vervisch, who misplaced his third map on lap seven when particles got lodged between the entrance-left brake caliper and wheel, splitting the rim within the technique and triggering a safety automobile interlude Vervisch stopped on map.
The racing action resumed on lap 10 with Guerrieri leading from Langeveld, ahead of Monteiro – who had started fourth moderately than from the DHL Pole Assign as one in all a form of driver to incur a grid penalty after qualifying.
On lap 14 there used to be additional Audi anguish as spectacular wildcard Ritomo Miyata dropped out of seventh map in his Audi Team Hitotsuyama RS 3 LMS with a scurry-shift failure.
The bound ended under the Audi R8 safety automobile following a high-bound atomize piquant Andy Priaulx and Nicky Catsburg. The Cyan Efficiency Lynk & Co driver, working in P13, used to be defending into Flip 1 from BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Racing Team’s Catsburg. The Hyundai i30 N TCR made contact with the Lynk & Co, with Priaulx shooting across the gravel entice and now not easy into the barrier. Click on here to search out out what Catsburg and Priaulx said of the incident.
At the support of the high three, Thed Björk executed fourth for Lynk & Co, ahead of SLR Volkswagen’s Johan Kristoffersson who held off Leopard Racing Team Audi Sport’s Jean-Karl Vernay for fifth.
Gabriele Tarquini used to be seventh, ahead of Team Mulsanne Alfa Romeo Giulietta Veloce TCR duo Kevin Ceccon and Ma Qinghua. Volkswagen-powered Sébastien Loeb Racing driver Take hold of Huff executed the high 10 adopted by Yvan Muller – from P25 on the grid – Yann Ehrlacher, erstwhile title leader Norbert Michelisz, Catsburg and Aurélien Panis, the first CUPRA driver dwelling in P15.
RACE WINNER QUOTES
Flee 1: Esteban Guerrieri (ALL-INKL.COM Münnich Motorsport), Honda Civic Type R TCR
“It used to be a truly intense bound. I knew within the beginning I had to enact a right beginning, which I did in actuality. I expected the Audis to be posthaste on the straight, however now not to arrive at the first nook facet by facet with me. Vervisch did a truly unstable transfer on the beginning air, I tried to defend going facet by facet into Flip 2 and we touched wheels, shedding moderately of poke there. Langeveld came on the inside and we went facet by facet and there used to be no need for me to ache too grand, so he moved to the entrance. Sadly for him he did a mistake on the 2d lap and all once more I got support within the lead. I knew I had the poke since the auto felt very right on the infield, now not so right on the straight, however I knew I would possibly perchance well well also management the poke. It’s a needed resolve, a truly gorgeous one for many reasons, however mostly successful here in Japan is extremely special as a Honda driver sharing the rostrum with a truly skilled and a truly loved driver by Honda in Tiago. It’s the entirety, you know, to resolve at Suzuka, a tune chubby of ancient past I weak to appear races at as moderately one. And for the championship it’s needed, so I am very grateful.”
Flee 2: Norbert Michelisz (BRC Hyundai N Squadra Corse), Hyundai i30 N TCR
“Generous! It used to be very, very refined. I tried to enact a get 22 situation in the beginning. I managed to enact that. I used to be seeing Take hold of used to be falling support one tenth after one other however taking a gape at your total bound I maintain he factual had a truly pleasure procedure because he saved his tyres and he used to be factual ready to arrive support accurate in direction of the dwell of the bound. To be perfect, for me, it used to be 24 qualifying laps. I used to be on the restrict, I used to be two or 3 times going sideways. Within the dwell we’re going for the championship and the most straightforward procedure for me is to transfer flat out. I’m very elated with my efficiency, very elated with the group efficiency. Winning races and scoring this amount of aspects is necessary. My procedure in Flee 3 would possibly perchance perhaps be the same. We are succesful of beginning P10 and we desire to transfer for aspects. If we are succesful of procure six or seven aspects this will likely be okay.”
Flee 3: Johan Kristoffersson (SLR Volkswagen), Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
“It used to be moderately a right bound in the case of I had a truly right automobile your total bound thru, however my resolve-off from the road used to be now not the ideal so Tiago got me there, however I used to be ready to procure below him between T1 and T2. From there, the auto used to be the ideal all weekend so I would possibly perchance well well also factual procure pleasure from my riding and there used to be moderately a optimistic gap within the support of me so I factual took care of the auto and the tyres throughout your total bound and we executed under the protection automobile. Most of all I used to be elated I used to be ready to position myself within the map to battle for the victory at the present time with a immense transfer to position on slick tyres early in Q1 on Friday. It [was a tough situation when Tiago got ahead], I used to be factual staring at thru the facet window that Tiago got a greater soar, so I assumed perchance I would possibly perchance well well also enact one thing. Either you strive to enact it within the first two laps or the final two laps, and I managed to enact it already after 400 metres, so I used to be elated with that. There used to be some contact [at T1]. I touched him within the door, alternatively it used to be moderately cherish faucet.”
Provisional results and standings:
What’s subsequent? WTCR Flee of Macau, Circuito da Guia, 14-17 November